The Battle of Gettysburg - the turning point of the American Civil War - would, in the words of one staff officer, stand "like Waterloo, conspicuous in the history of all ages." In this stirring production, adapted from the New York Times’ award-winning online journal and Audible audiobook Disunion, we revisit the meaning and importance of the battle that forever changed US history. Timed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle which took place over several days starting July 1st, 1863, Why Gettysburg Mattered concludes with an inspiring performance of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
©2013 The New York Times (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This is 12-minute-or-so discussion of the Battle of Gettysburg, followed by a reading of The Gettysburg Address. One can not expect much depth in such a brief document, and I guess its main value is to people with little knowledge of the battle, or to those who may have an interest in purchasing a book on the topic.
The title is a misnomer: little time is spent discussing why Gettysburg mattered, and what discussion there is on that topic tends to cover well-known ground: how the Union needed a victory, etc. The beginning discusses things such as casualty figures, and challenges some commonly-held perceptions about the battle, but (doubtless due to the time limit of this free release) offers little in the way of arguments to support the author's assertions.Other topics discussed herein are also claimed to not be widely accepted, and yet to my experience, are "nothing new." I am, however, more widely read on the American Civil War than many laymen, so take that with as much salt as you wish.
Since I view this as a marketing tool for another product, might have been more helpful? Perhaps an excerpt from the other book, giving a sense of the author's style, or something indicating the drama the author would try to focus on.Utterly lacking was any sense of why I should obtain the promoted book, as opposed to any of the many others available on the topic.
If you are unfamiliar with the topic, this free publication may whet your appetite to know more about this critical event in American history, and if so, that is all to the good. Purchasing the book it promotes may then also be a very helpful action, and *perhaps* even be a very good choice.But this free promotion makes that less than clear, and fails even more so when dealing with an historically literate audience.
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