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Publisher's Summary

The final work in this series begins in December of 1862. Four months before, the Union Army tasted long-awaited victory at the bloody battle of Antietam. Grant continued on towards Vicksburg, Mississippi. The grim battles that lay ahead would be costly: the Vicksburg campaign, Chattanooga, the Battle of the Wilderness, the Battle of Atlanta and the March to the Sea, the siege of Petersburg. There would be two and a half more years of war before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, followed by Lincoln’s death just six days later.

©1965 Bruce Catton (P)1990 Recorded Books, LLC

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Interesting, informative and well written.

This is the third volume of the Centennial History of the Civil War written in the 1960's. There is nothing old fashioned or out of date about the information or the perspective of the writer. Catton's books remain an excellent survey history of the period. I would say Catton's books are as good as Shelby Foote's only shorter. He includes the political and social history so the book is not just about the battles. Bruce Catton was an excellent writer who painted pictures with words. His writing is not just good history it is good literature. His extensive knowledge of the topic went with his talent for pointing out the relevant facts and showing how they affected the different events covered in the book. The author's little word sketches describing particular events and people are so good they are often quoted in other books on this topic. The narration is just as good as the writing. I will definitely look for more of the narrator's books. Even if you are not a fan of history this is an entertaining and interesting book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Bryan
  • Monument, CO, United States
  • 01-21-12

The Final Phase and What It Means

This is the third volume of Bruce Catton's centennial history of the Civil War. Starting in December of 1862 with the Union disaster at Fredricksberg to Lee's surrender at Appomatox Courthouse and Lincoln's assassination 6 days later, Mr. Catton weaves together the threads of all the different theaters of the war.

Mr. Catton was actually born in 1899 and as he was growing up he talk to people who had actually served in the war. He has a deep understanding of the sacrifices that the war placed on those who served and those who were at home. He combines this with a masterful skill at story telling to produce a wonderful history of the defining moment of 19th century America.

And his focus is not just on the tremendous battles of the time, but also how President Lincoln had to deal with the politics of winning the war and putting together plans for reconstructing the country once it was apparent that the Union was going to prevail.

You will be astonished at how quickly this book is finished. I highly recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Review of Civil War

Nelson Runger is my favorite reader, and I have been waiting so long for Audible to get this series. I wonder why they received permission to publish the third volume in the series but I hope soon they will get the other two: The Coming Fury and Terrible Swift Sword.

The series begins with the final days of Buchanan's administration and events leading up to the war, and the weeks after Lincoln's assassination. No one book can cover every political event and battle but this gives the reader a good sense of the history of that era. Also, listen to Shelby Foote's Civil War and watch the Ken Burns PBS series.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Read this trilogy

This is a brilliant and beautifully written exposition of our past. The intelligence and heart of Bruce Catton's laboriously researched history is humbling and inspiring. Nelson Runger's wonderful narration is better than any other I have heard. If you want to understand modern America, the Civil War is an essential part of the puzzle, and you will find no more accessible history of that war than Catton's works.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very Welcome History

It is no criticism of Catton???s excellent three volume history to say it is a lesser work than Shelby Foote???s Civil War: A Narrative. Foote???s work is on a much grander scale. It is, moreover, great literature. There are no other American histories that really compare. Think Gibbon. No one reads nonfiction better than Nelson Runger. I look forward to the other two volumes.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Why the North Won; Economic Power

Never Call Retreat, The Centennial History of the Civil War, Volume 3, written by Bruce Catton, and narrated by: Nelson Runger. This compilation is a mid-1960s, deep and rewarding dive into the pre, contemporary and post-civil war strategy milieu. In this, the third part of the three-book series, Mr. Catton provides an understanding of the Civil War, as its inevitable outcome became obvious, i.e. a Northern victory. Also explained is the war’s objectified purpose, its initial fruitless battles and how attrition brought about the war’s end, and finally why the Civil War ended as it did.

This third book is an understanding of how the generals conceived of, prepared for and managed their battles. As such, this is the story of how Ulysses.S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman proved superior generals and how they became the Union’s war savers.

Most interesting here is how the obvious genius of Abraham Lincoln is portrayed; a man perceived as nothing much by his political contemporaries, yet, who proves to be a shrewd and insightful patriot of our nation and its laws.

Another major theme in this edition is the question of whether to provide emancipation. Not a simple concept in the 1860s. The complexity of the issues faced by the North were interesting. Yet, what was horrifying is that the debate seems never to involve the consideration that Blacks, are one in the same humankind, with the rest of the nation. Frightening to think we as a nation were so ignorant and held these unfounded prejudices.

Finally, this book teaches us about the futility of the battles that were fought attempting to bring about a win or avoid a war loss. Most battles ended in no resolution and too many deaths.

There are two superior ossuaries on the civil war. This three-book series and Shelby Foote’s comparative three book tombs, on the Civil War. Here you learn more of the politics. In Mr. Foote’s magnificent study, you learn of the war and its battles. Read either, read both. I think Shelby Foote’s is the far superior read and study. That is not to say this telling is not good; just not as good. Herodotus initiated humanity into the benefit of studying history. These two men, Catton and Foote, are the penultimate writers of history.

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Excellent Southern Road Trip Read (Listen)

Detailed account of the war: on the battle fronts, as well as the political' social and economic struggles facing each side.

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FANTASTIC

This is the third and final volume of Catton's narrative history of the American Civil War, and it is as fantastic as the first two volumes. Catton weaves a rich fabric of military, political and cultural facts and insights, drawing on a wide variety of records, documents, reports and other writings left by the War's participants and contemporaries, to present an insightful and highly engaging picture of the war and the United States and the American people that were so violently transformed by it .

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Excellent

Excellent series this 3rd of Cotton's series beginning with the Coming Fury. Listening gives a whole new meaning and context of the Civil War.

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It's Message Still Relevant Today, Perhaps More-so

This 3 volume work is a masterpiece. Given today's political climate, it should be required reading for high school every student. We must never forget the sacrifice and waste caused by political zealots. Catton's masterwork brings the reality of war and its consequences to life in a way few authors have been able to duplicate. Read just after the presidential election of 2016, it reinforced the notion that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.