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Publisher's Summary

Undoubtedly Bruce Catton's most brilliant book, A Stillness at Appomattox won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in nonfiction. Catton, our foremost Civil War historian, recounts the most spectacular conflicts between Grant and Lee and details the end of hope for the Confederacy. Utilizing various collections of unpublished letters written by soldiers, personal diaries of spouses and relatives, memoirs of soldiers and their families, and official war records, Catton follows Grant's campaigns from early 1864 to the end of the war, detailing many crucial battles along the way.

©1953 Bruce Catton (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

The Best

Mr Catton wrote two sets of three books each about the Civil War. One was on the Army ofThe Potomac . The Other was the definitive study of the war which was published for the 100th anniversary of the war.

This is the final volume of the centennial series. It is the best of a those six masterful works. No books of history, not even those of Foote or McCullough capture both the very personal human experience that history is AND it’s broad sweep as well.

A Stillness At Appomattox begins with a Ball and a single dance in it. From there you will care deeply about the people in this book and gain understanding of what the war did too and for this country.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Acampo, CA, United States
  • 05-28-17

Superb Catton classic.

Great narration of the intimate and authentic journey of the last year of the Army of the Potomac.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Civil War brought to life

Never before, in my experience, has a narrative so fully captured the experience of the war between the states. This is a book to lend to your children.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This makes history come to life

The narration is fabulous. The research that has gone into this book is impressive. It has left me with a profound respect for men who gave their all for the freedoms I enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect

Truly a masterpiece. I have read or listened to a dozen civil war books and this may have been the best. It held my interest beyond my expectations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poetry

a beautifully written and poetic approach to a terrible time, amazing!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Colvin
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 10-09-14

History comes alive

This is a classic, the story of Grant's command of the Union Army from the battle of the Wilderness to Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Catton's command of the language combined with his knowledge of history combine for a very enjoyable book, wonderfully narrated by Michael Kramer the book takes on even greater dimensions. If you enjoy history you will enjoy this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Plymouth, MN, United States
  • 05-24-18

A bloodbath prevented by an honorable surrender

Bruce Catton's books are outstanding works about the Civil War. They should all be read. In this final work on the end of the war Catton describes how two civilized warriors brought an end to what was about to be a massive bloodbath. The Union forces outnumbered and surrounded the embattled Army of North Virginia and many of Lee's generals urged him to fight on. General Lee saw the futility of continuing the fight and General Grant gave him and his troops an honorable surrender. You can imagine the tension which must have been felt between the two armies as they faced off while their generals negotiated.

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  • Bill
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 05-12-18

Poetic History

This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner for good reason. It’s both good history and pretty fair poetry. It is a chronicle of the end of the Civil War, starting just before Grant and Meade took the Army of the Potomac across the Rapidan and into the Wilderness, and ending, well, at the end. It manages to provide both high level insight into the strategy, politics, and social context of the war, along with detailed portraits of major figures (notably Grant and Sheridan), and an intimate look at how the common infantry soldier lived, fought, and died during the war. I can’t recommend the book highly enough.

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Not quite the “best Civil War writer ever”.

Though the style makes good use of source writings such as letters from the participants, it leans on the writer’s biases to excess. Rather than simply telling the story he wants you to know how he feel about the personalities. Not sure how Catton is considered the best Civil War writer of all time by many. Many others have done much better work. Sears for one. The performance is rather dry, but tolerable. Might have been better with more to work with in terms of content.