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Publisher's Summary

This is the original diary of the wife of Confederate General James Chesnut, Jr., who was an aide to President Jefferson Davis. It is a fascinating narrative of all the years of the American Civil War. It focuses on the daily lives and hardships of all who suffered through the war, from ordinary people to the Confederacy's generals and political elite.

Mary Chesnut's prose has lost none of its provocative bite through the ages: "I think incompatibility of temper began when it was made plain to us that we get all the opprobrium of slavery while they, with their tariff, get the money there is in it." Nor any of its ironic sense of humor: "We try our soldiers to see if they are hot enough before we enlist them. If, when water is thrown on them they do not sizzle, they won’t do; their patriotism is too cool."
©2017 Audioliterature (P)2017 Audioliterature

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Must read—unique view of Antebellum, bellum & post bellum Southern life

A students of the Civil War, I highly recommend this book. Nowhere else is captured the trials, sentiments, & intimate insight to Southern life in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The annotations wrt the prominent military & government figures as well as battles is masterfully woven into the diary.

No other Civil War account covers the ground that this one does.

What’s missing? More perspectives of the poor black & white people during this time. Mary Chestnut was the wife of a senator and confederate officer which must be remembered as she gives her thoughts & assessments of the time. Even so, this is a must read if you endeavor to understand the American Civil War & its aftermath which is still felt today in the groundwater of the nation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of the best books on the Civil War.

A gerat birds eye view, even if it's from a Confederate's POV. An extremely well done take on life in the South during those times. A must-have for fans of history of the American Civil War.