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This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War | [James M. McPherson]

This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom and many other award-winning books, James M. McPherson is America's preeminent Civil War historian. Now, in this collection of provocative and illuminating essays, McPherson offers fresh insight into many of the most enduring questions about one of the defining moments in our nation's history.
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Publisher's Summary

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom and many other award-winning books, James M. McPherson is America's preeminent Civil War historian. Now, in this collection of provocative and illuminating essays, McPherson offers fresh insight into many of the most enduring questions about one of the defining moments in our nation's history.

Listeners will find insightful pieces on such intriguing figures as Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Jesse James, and William Tecumseh Sherman, and on such vital issues as Confederate military strategy, the failure of peace negotiations to end the war, and the realities and myths of the Confederacy.

Combining the finest scholarship with luminous prose, and packed with new information and fresh ideas, this book brings together the most recent thinking by the nation's leading authority on the Civil War.

©2007 James M. McPherson; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"It will seduce anyone, Civil War neophyte or fanatic, for its authority and judgments....There is not a bad chapter in this book. This Mighty Scourge is a marvelous read from a master historian. Like all good history, what it makes you want to do is know more." (Boston Globe)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 05-03-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 05-03-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Introduction to McPherson"

    James McPherson in "This Mighty Scourge" has not produced so much a history as an analysis of aspects of the American Civil War in this compilation. Through the republication of 16 essays he answers such questions as why did the war start?, what motivated individuals to fight on both sides?, what were the geographical determined differentials in subsequent interpretations of the war?

    Some of the essays are updated, some new, and some are republished. Through all the listener benefits from McPherson's long experience with the topic and related literature. Using him as guide, the listener comes away with a perspective built on those years of experience and the benefits of broad understanding of the research since the war.

    I listened to learn more about the war and was not disappointed. The writing is wonderful and the reading is exceptional. This is a good introduction to McPherson. First timers to McPherson's work can move from this text to many others also availlable from Audible by him.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 03-07-14
    George 03-07-14
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    "New Insights"

    The book is a series of essays on subjects about the American civil war. Several of them are about people, including Lincoln, John Brown, Jeff Davis and Jessie James. Those were the most interesting. Some of the political discussions were down right boring. The author did provide some new insights and I generally enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark Clarkston, GA, United States 06-07-13
    mark Clarkston, GA, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent Book, Awful Performance"

    Another indespensible perspective on the Civil War from James McPherson. Here he goes into depth about some topics only briefly covered in his outstanding Battle Cry of Freedom vols. 1 & 2. The excellence of the book is unfortunately marred by a bizarre performance that is so rapid as to be almost incomprehensible. Once I slowed it to half speed it was better, only now a bit slow. I cannot imagine this audio could have been produced intentionally.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-28-11
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-28-11 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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    "Quite informative"

    One the bargain specials at Audible turned out to be an interesting collection of essays on different aspects of the Civil War, ranging from the real reasons the war began, to how close foreign powers came to intervening, to Southern revisionism in history books after the war, to whether Sherman was an underrated general, to the political life of Abraham Lincoln. Most of the pieces are written as responses to some existing work or theory in Civil War scholarship, but McPherson does a good job of providing context for the casual history buff. Overall, his writing is engaging and informative, and gave me a lot more perspective into the complex interweave of political, historical, social, and military factors that defined the reality of the war as it took place, some of which modern readers might not know about. Occasionally, some of the essays descend into academic dryness, but most of them were full of fascinating detail and insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BIED paris, France 05-13-11
    BIED paris, France 05-13-11
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    "Excellent collection of essays"

    Do not expect to read a comprehensive study of the Civil War. This is a collection of essays covering various topics, such as an excellent bio of Jesse James, or the way post-war Southern lobbies managed to change the contents of history textbooks dealing with the Civil War and deterred scholars from making independent search on this topic in Southern colleges.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 06-21-10
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 06-21-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Very scholarly ....sometimes good, someties boring"

    This is a series of articles on different aspects of the Civil War. It is somewhat entertaining but only in the sense that a college course might be entertaining. There is a lot of good information but it is presented in a more technical and scholarly way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Sumas, WA, USA 10-08-09
    Elaine Sumas, WA, USA 10-08-09
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    "Black side of War"

    "The mighty Scourge" is a look into the past; the experiences of the era just before and after the Civil War. Told often in the words of the slaves themselves makes this book essencial to understanding the humane issues surrounding the American civil War. Read "The Mighty Scourge" for a fresh, perspective on American history. E. Eastman

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Prairie Village, KS, USA 09-21-09
    Alan Prairie Village, KS, USA 09-21-09 Member Since 2009
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    "The Mighty Scourge"

    I found this book interesting in that it looked at so many different angles of the Civil War. Much mor than my history books. It went into depth the personalities of the different players of the war and used many sources to make the narrative more historically accurate. In my opinion it's a good listen for Civil War buffs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Butte, MT, United States 11-10-09
    Don Butte, MT, United States 11-10-09 Member Since 2009
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    "great condensed history-superior narrator!"

    For a concise review of the Civil War, and several intriguing points of the war I had not considered, this book was great. I felt the narrator was superb!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Connie Omaha, NE, United States 10-20-09
    Connie Omaha, NE, United States 10-20-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Mighty Value!"

    Excellent historical honest perspective of the Civil War. I plan to listen to this multiple time to retain the historical value.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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