A Fierce Glory

Antietam - The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery
Narrated by: James Edward Thomas
Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On September 17, 1862, the US was on the brink, facing a permanent split into two separate nations. America's very future hung on the outcome of a single battle - and the result reverberates to this day. Given the deep divisions that still rive the nation, and given what unites the country, too, Antietam is more relevant now than ever.

The epic battle, fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was a Civil War turning point. The South had just launched its first invasion of the North; victory for Robert E. Lee would almost certainly have ended the war on Confederate terms. If the Union prevailed, Lincoln stood ready to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He knew that freeing the slaves would lend renewed energy and lofty purpose to the North's war effort. Lincoln needed a victory to save the divided country, but victory would come at a price. Detailed here is the cannon-din and desperation, the horrors and heroes of this monumental battle, one that killed 3,650 soldiers, still the highest single-day toll in American history.

Martin, an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction, renders this landmark event in a revealing new way. More than in previous accounts, Lincoln is laced deeply into the story. Antietam represents Lincoln at his finest, as the grief-racked president - struggling with the recent death of his son Willie - summoned the guile necessary to manage his reluctant general, George McClellan. The Emancipation Proclamation would be the greatest gambit of the nation's most inspired leader. And, in fact, the battle's impact extended far beyond the field; brilliant and lasting innovations in medicine, photography, and communications were given crucial real-world tests. No mere gunfight, Antietam rippled through politics and society, transforming history.

A Fierce Glory is a fresh and vibrant account of an event that had enduring consequences that still resonate today.

©2018 Justin Martin (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Martin takes you to the fabled Antietam battlefield in an engagingly written 'you are there' style that has you virtually feeling the bullets whizzing above your head. This is no dry military history or conventional Civil War book but a riveting group biography that delves into the hearts and minds of a number of colorful, larger-than-life characters, all of it placed in the context of the fateful deliberations of Lincoln over issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. A tour de force." (John Oller, author of The Swamp Fox and American Queen)

"More than the repulse of a Confederate invasion, the Union victory at Antietam paved the way for black freedom - thus proving, in its way, the most important battle of the Civil War. Appropriately, A Fierce Glory is more than a military history (although it depicts the actual fighting vividly). Martin has culled a vast array of sources to explore the political, religious, medical, and, ultimately, the societal impact of Antietam. A highly original work." (Harold Holzer, winner of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize)

"Martin has given us an engrossing, important new look at Antietam, making a convincing case that the outcome had more impact on the course of the war, and on U.S. history, than any other Civil War engagement." (Marc Leepson, author of Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History)

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Terrible battle fantastic telling

Justin Martin does a wonderful job of putting you in the time and place of this momentous event. He puts you in the heads of the opposing Generals and of President Lincoln. He explains the temper of the country and the diverse views of slavery . Then he leads you to this battle and let's the soldiers on the battle lines tell the story. Not since Bruce Catton told these stories in his Army Of the Potomac trilogy has it been told in such an engaging and personal level. Hope Mr Martin will tell more of these stories in the future.