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Reflections on the Civil War (1981)
by Bruce Catton
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425104958, Mass Market Paperback)This eclectic collection of historical musings, published posthumously from educational tape recordings Catton made during his life, is must reading for Civil War buffs. The tone is conversational and the text never demanding, although it contains several deeply penetrating insights. Asking why the Civil War didn't leave irreconcilably angry feelings between the North and South (such as those found in the Middle East or Ireland), Catton comments: "I think the chief reason for this is the legend of Robert E. Lee and the heroic confederate soldiers ... [who] suffered mightily in a great but lost cause. The point is that this very phrase accepts the cause as having been lost. There was no hint in this legend of biding one's time and waiting for a moment when there could be revenge. This was the lost cause; something to be cherished, to be revered, to be the outlet for emotions, but not to be the center of a new outbreak of violence." A great book by a great historian.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:16 -0400)
The eminent historian's posthumous summation of the Civil War's causes and effects illuminates crucial events and personalities and is complemented by rare, on-the-scene sketches kept by a Union soldier.
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