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Publisher's Summary

During the Civil War, 620,000 soldiers lost their lives - equivalent to six million in today's population. This Republic of Suffering explores the impact of the enormous death toll from material, political, intellectual, and spiritual angles. Drew Gilpin Faust delineates the ways death changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation and describes how a deeply religious culture reconciled the slaughter with its belief in a benevolent God.

Throughout, the viewpoints of soldiers, families, statesmen, generals, preachers, poets, surgeons and nurses, Northerners and Southerners, slaveholders, freed people, the most exalted, and the most humble are brought together to give a vivid understanding of the Civil War's widely shared reality.

©2008 Drew Gilpin Faust (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully written, honest, and penetrating...Anyone wanting to understand the 'real war' and its transcendent meaning must face the facts Faust arrays before us...Essential." ( Library Journal)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    34
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a unique civil war perspective

This is a wonderful book. A new & unique twist on understanding the Civil War, which is an amazing accomplishment given all that there is already. Beautifully written and beautifully read. Each chapter/subject seems to roll seamlessly into the next, so you hardly notice the page (I mean minutes) roll by. One of the best history books I've listened to from Audible in several years.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This Republic of Suffering

Drew Gilpin Faust's perspective on the Civil War is a must read for anyone who loves history and understands how our past shapes our present. Although at times the details are unflinching and grisly, they are included to paint a graphic picture of the true cost of war, and to put pain, loss and grief in true perspective. This should be required reading for American history students.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dallas
  • Aurora, CO, USA
  • 09-14-08

Schoolmarm narrator

The book is well researched and interesting(and somewhat tedious if you are not "into" Civil War history) . The narrators treatment of letters and papers from the period is a problem however. She adopts a schoolmarm tone that is both dismissive of and condescending to the people that wrote the documents. I found that irritating.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Phillip
  • GRANT, AL, United States
  • 01-30-10

Good book - terrible narration

The narrator reminded me of the voice of Rudolph in the old claymation cartoon, but the book was well written and informative.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great insight into the war

lots of great insight , answers to how and why Southern records are so hard to find for family tree research, gives perspective on the lives, experiences and deaths of the people during the war

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Astonishing!

I now have a great understanding of the magnitude and effects of this war on the men and women that had to endure.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good information but overly dramatic narration

This gave some new information to me on the mindset around death. I was surprised to find there was a manner the dying was expected to under take...the good death and how that manner reassured family that the dying person would go to heaven. It gives an interesting contrast to hospital deaths today or the reaction to unexpected deaths. Good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

War

Faust portraits dying in the civil war exquisitely and provides a unique insight into the values of death among Americans of the time.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

boring.

I could not get focused into this book at all. I had to read this for my history 2010 class.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Tampa, FL
  • 10-05-15

Just couldn't get in to it

What disappointed you about This Republic of Suffering?

Nothing specifically, I just could not get in to this book. Maybe the writing was too dry. The first few chapters were cool, but the remainder approx 3/4 of the book was though to get through.

Would you ever listen to anything by Drew Gilpin Faust again?

Probably not

Would you be willing to try another one of Lorna Raver’s performances?

Possibly, depends on topic.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The topic is absolutely incredible. I think this day in age all the military conflict that goes on in the world seems so far from us. The Civil War was right here in our back yard and it was only about 150 years ago. Crazy.