Customer Reviews for

April 1865: The Month That Saved America

Average Rating 4.5
( 74 )
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(45)

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(18)

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(5)

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(5)

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(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Good book for the history buff.

The first third of the book involves the build-up to "the month", with emphasis on Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee as intelligent, noble, but conflicted Southerners. You learn why the Confederacy formed and why it persisted when the military odds against it became in...
The first third of the book involves the build-up to "the month", with emphasis on Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee as intelligent, noble, but conflicted Southerners. You learn why the Confederacy formed and why it persisted when the military odds against it became insumountable. This part of the book is a bit sterile and distant, as there are few interpersonal relationships. When the book actually enters April, 1865, the tact of the book changes, with good descriptions of President Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, U.S. Grant, President Johnson, Edwin Stanton, and Charles Sumner. The threats and opportunities for disaster to the Union are well-played, and the intrigue is palpable. This book is heavily referenced, almost 1/6 of the total length of the book. Definitely a book for the history buff rather than general reader, but don't confuse this as dry academics. If you're looking to improve on your high school U.S. history, this is a good "chapter", but also add to it "chapters" on December, 1776; August, 1813; April, 1845; and November, 1963.

posted by zippy995 on March 27, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not what I expected.

I thought the book was going to be about April 1865. Unfortunately, a lot of it was the history leading up to April 1865. I understand that if you did not know the prior history it would have been impossible to appreciate. However, I would hope that anyone buying thi...
I thought the book was going to be about April 1865. Unfortunately, a lot of it was the history leading up to April 1865. I understand that if you did not know the prior history it would have been impossible to appreciate. However, I would hope that anyone buying this book would already have the historical perspective. I am glad I read it and would read another book by Jay Wink. I guess I just expected 200 pages that got deeply into the 30 day time period.

posted by gt on March 23, 2009

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Good book for the history buff.

    The first third of the book involves the build-up to "the month", with emphasis on Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee as intelligent, noble, but conflicted Southerners. You learn why the Confederacy formed and why it persisted when the military odds against it became insumountable. This part of the book is a bit sterile and distant, as there are few interpersonal relationships. When the book actually enters April, 1865, the tact of the book changes, with good descriptions of President Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, U.S. Grant, President Johnson, Edwin Stanton, and Charles Sumner. The threats and opportunities for disaster to the Union are well-played, and the intrigue is palpable. This book is heavily referenced, almost 1/6 of the total length of the book. Definitely a book for the history buff rather than general reader, but don't confuse this as dry academics. If you're looking to improve on your high school U.S. history, this is a good "chapter", but also add to it "chapters" on December, 1776; August, 1813; April, 1845; and November, 1963.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Superb

    Superb ...This book is not just a great read, but a revelation of the country's most precarious era...April 1865 was definitively "the month the saved America."...Hats off to Mr. Winik.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    Enlightening

    I read this book around the time of my first extensive trip to Tennessee's Civil War battlefields. Thought this would be a timely read. Turned out to be even more than I hoped. It taught me new insights into the events and personalities of our country's greatest and costliest (in human lives) struggle.

    Thanks for a great read!
    -Tim in Virginia Beach

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    History comes alive

    One of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. I'm a student of history, but not much of a Civil War buff. I thought I knew most of the important information, but this book brought the entire period and people to life for me. This book should become required reading for students of American History.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2011

    Pass on this one!

    Massive disappointment. Mr. Winik seems more interested in playing the role of contrarian than actual documentarian of the topic. He continuously impugns Lincoln as a political opportunist while extolling the virtues of Lee and Johnston as Southern gentlemen. One gets the feeling that if Mr. Winik was born 150 years earlier he would have been a PR flack for the Confederate States of America.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    I loved this book!

    I loved reading and learning from this book. I think it was a very fair approach giving you the point of view from both the north and south. I am so glad I read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    Best book I've ever read on the Civil War

    Phenomenal! Reads like a mystery novel, a genuine page turner. While focused on the particular time of April 1865, it really spans the whole of the conflict and it's build up as well. Incredible analysis of critical events and individuals while keeping in touch with the grand flow of forces both social and military. It touched me on a human level and made me gasp, tear up and rejoice. I didn't want it to end. Now I want, no, NEED to learn more about this pivotal time in our country's history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not what I expected.

    I thought the book was going to be about April 1865. Unfortunately, a lot of it was the history leading up to April 1865. I understand that if you did not know the prior history it would have been impossible to appreciate. However, I would hope that anyone buying this book would already have the historical perspective. I am glad I read it and would read another book by Jay Wink. I guess I just expected 200 pages that got deeply into the 30 day time period.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    Outstanding

    I agree with Jennifer. It should be read by all history students. So, I placed an order for all 60 of my 8th grade students to read the book this coming April for the US History class that I teach. The book is definitely a must read. Enjoyable and enlightening.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2003

    Very Disappointing - Nothing New Here

    I can't understand how this book became a best seller and why it gets such glowing reviews. Maybe most people don't know a whole lot about the Civil War. Otherwise they'd realize that Winik breaks no new ground here but simply rehashes what is already known. If he were a good writer, maybe I wouldn't mind, but he's awful. (And where was the copy editor for this thing? Grammatical and usage errors abound.) He makes errors of fact as well. What a disappointment. The only enjoyment I had from this book was putting Post-its on pages that contained errors.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Excellent historical perspective!

    I love history and found this book absolutely refreshing. From the very first sentence I knew this wasn't going to be a dry, boring essay on the Civil War. It brought Lee & Grant to life and kept me captivated throughout. When I finished reading I looked at both generals and Lincoln in a whole new light.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Jay Winik - Mr. Informative!!!

    Just finished reading it, and, JUST like "The Great Upheaval", there is knowledge for the reader on each and every page!! O, that authors like him and David McCullough had come along 30-40 years ago. Keep 'em coming, Mr. Winik!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    April 1865 is a solid historical review

    As a civil war buff I really enjoyed the writer's review of the waning days of the civil war. He also placed some nice mini-biographies in the book of some of the major players discussed in the book.
    I really didn't learn anything new in the book that I haven't read in a dozen other books, but what makes a book like this worth reading is how the author does a nice job keeping the story flowing so you almost feel you are reading a novel. I almost thought I was reading a David McCullough book and that Mr. Winik is a compliment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    1856 Historical novel

    This is an excellent account of the Civil War. This is thorough and so in depth. The research done is incredible. All students should be given this book to learn what the war was all about and the devastation it caused. The end result is our current country, but the cost was tremendous. Abraham Lincoln was a remarkable President in this time of our history. It's no wonder he is so revered!

    I recommend this book to anyone that likes history or just wants a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2001

    Where's the beef?

    I anticipated a thorough tracking of the events in the month of April 1865. Unfortunately, the author spent more time doing bios on the participants than digging into a month fraught with intrigue. The book was an easy read but at times took on the character of a novel rather than history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    A very well written review of one important month. Winik reveal

    A very well written review of one important month. Winik reveals just how precarious this nation was.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    A fascinating read

    Well researched, Winik gave us a day by day, and in some cases hour by hour walk through of a critical time in our history. I had not realized some of the ticking time bombs the original Founding Fathers left in their work, but Jay lays it on the line. It could have gone so different.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Excellent story teller. Mr. Wink makes the people and events co

    Excellent story teller. Mr. Wink makes the people and events come alive. The sub title is apt as the thrust of the story is how lucky the USA is to still be one nation. I will highly recommend the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Warriors den

    Warriors den

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    A good choice for those interested in the civil war.

    This title is well written as to how things were during the waning days of the civil war and the days that came after. I found there to be details about the military commanders and political leaders of North and South which I had not known before. If you have an interest in the war between the states and how it all finally ended as well as the concerns that President Lincoln and General Grant had before the Confederate surrender, then this title may be for you. This is a recommended read if your interest lies this way.

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