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Battle cry of freedom : the Civil War era (original 1988; edition 1988)

by James M. McPherson

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3,180501,759 (4.45)227
Member:mnicol
Title:Battle cry of freedom : the Civil War era
Authors:James M. McPherson
Info:New York : Oxford University Press, 1988.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Civil War

Work details

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson (Author) (1988)

  1. 40
    Ulysses S. Grant : Memoirs and Selected Letters : Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant / Selected Letters, 1839-1865 by Ulysses S. Grant (wildbill)
    wildbill: This is the Library of America edition of Grant's memoirs which I think is preferable. Any edition of Grant's memoirs will be informative and enjoyable.
  2. 10
    A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton (wcfreels)
    wcfreels: Just finished it for the first time last week. Best read on the Civil War I've ever read. So well written that, unlike the soldiers, I hated to see it end.
  3. 00
    In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 by Edward L. Ayers (eromsted)
  4. 01
    The Civil War Dictionary by Mark Boatner (wildbill)
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» See also 227 mentions

English (49)  Dutch (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Absolutely the best comprehensive Civil War book I have ever read. It not only provides you with much in depth analysis and covers all the main points of the War thoroughly, but it also reads almost like a novel. In that I never got the bored feeling that often accompanies non fiction books that cover such a vast topic. It kept me interest from cover to cover and I would highly recommend that if you are destined to only read one book over the American Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom should without question be you number one choice. Just a great, great book. ( )
  Zissou54 | May 20, 2014 |
Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson; (5*)

This volume is one of the most comprehensive studies of the Civil War period that addresses every aspect of the war. McPherson does an excellent job of setting the context. He describes the changing demographics, economics, politics and policies of the United States in the 19th century. He covers the institution of slavery; how it developed and how southerners sought its expansion. He discusses the impact of westward growth and the war with Mexico; the series of compromises as new states became part of the union along with the increasing divisions as those compromises failed to appease both sides. And lastly the secession of the southern states after Lincoln was elected president is covered. I especially appreciated the details of the months when secession spread which includes the stated rationales of the seceding states and the maneuvers that led to the firing on Fort Sumter.
The discussion of the war covers virtually all of the major military campaigns and battles and is accompanied by maps showing Union and Confederate movements. We get to know all the important generals and follow them through their checkered or glorious careers. McPherson is stellar at using anecdotes and/or quotes to convey the character of each general. The strengths and weaknesses of the Union and Confederate armies at certain times or battles are clearly delineated. He also assesses the structures of leadership and the quality of leaders in the Federal Government and in the Confederate states. Lincoln had to contend with political rivals and war opponents, worry over whether foreign nations might recognize the Confederacy, defend his Emancipation Proclamation from critics, and agonize over whether he would ever find an effective general to break the southern army and restore the union. Jefferson Davis had the challenge of winning the cooperation of the wildly independent Confederate states to raise sufficient armies, produce enough food, clothes and armaments, and agree on strategy and tactics.
Battle Cry of Freedom is very readable for a nearly 900 page book on nonfiction. It took me nearly 10 days to read it and it is a fascinating read. It held my interest throughout. I found James McPherson to be a masterful author in this field.
I very highly recommend this work. ( )
2 vote rainpebble | Apr 17, 2014 |
An interesting narrative history that allows the military events to be put into perspective with the significant political and social issues. I highly recommended it. Historical writing at it's best. ( )
  rbanks1 | Feb 7, 2014 |
James M. McPherson’s masterpiece justifiably won the Pulitzer in 1988. It is volume six in the Oxford History of the United States. McPherson is obviously a good scholar; he is also an excellent writer. His narrative style is serious, but clear. The book works in both conception and execution.

The observations McPherson brings to light on the effectiveness of different Presidents dealing with the divisions in the country were really interesting, especially given the atmosphere of ‘no compromise’ we are seeing out of Washington today. Andrew Jackson and Zachery Taylor were effective while Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan were awful.

While some of the history may be well known to many readers, there is certainly something new here for most of those who have not read this book. Reading Battle Cry of Freedom was fun. ( )
  TStarnes | Sep 30, 2013 |
Excellent
  saint2001ron | Jul 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McPherson, James M.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woodward, C. VannIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Van and Willie

and to the memory of

Glenn and Bill

Who introduced me to the world of history and academia in the good old days at Hopkins
First words
Both sides in the American Civil War professed to be fighting for freedom. (Preface)
On the morning of September 14, 1847, brilliant sunshine burned off the haze in Mexico City.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (72)

16th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment

21st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

29th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

68th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Abraham Lincoln

Ambrose Burnside

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

Battle of Stones River

Battle of the Wilderness

Bibliography of United States military history

Braxton Bragg

Camp Douglas (Chicago)

List of American Civil War generals

List of American Civil War Generals (Union)

Massachusetts in the American Civil War

Military medicine

Nellie Grant

Overland Campaign

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 019516895X, Paperback)

Published in 1988 to universal acclaim, this single-volume treatment of the Civil War quickly became recognized as the new standard in its field. James M. McPherson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this book, impressively combines a brisk writing style with an admirable thoroughness. He covers the military aspects of the war in all of the necessary detail, and also provides a helpful framework describing the complex economic, political, and social forces behind the conflict. Perhaps more than any other book, this one belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, this fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War: the Dred Scott decision: the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. It then moves into a chronicle of the war itself, the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict.This volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.… (more)

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