The Civil War

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Overview

This book is a fast-moving, dramatic narrative. Catton, a leading historian of the Civil War, vividly describes the armies involved and battles fought. His account of battles is carefully interwoven with the political activities of the Union and Confederate armies and diplomatic efforts overseas.

"The text itself is everything we have come to expect....scholarly, judicious, clear and unfailingly interesting."--New York Times.

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Overview

This book is a fast-moving, dramatic narrative. Catton, a leading historian of the Civil War, vividly describes the armies involved and battles fought. His account of battles is carefully interwoven with the political activities of the Union and Confederate armies and diplomatic efforts overseas.

"The text itself is everything we have come to expect....scholarly, judicious, clear and unfailingly interesting."--New York Times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Everything we have come to expect from Catton: scholarly, judicious, clear and unfailingly interesting." The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786126828
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 7.04 (h) x 2.72 (d)

Table of Contents

I A house divided 6
II The opening guns 22
III The clash of amateur armies 36
IV Real warfare begins 52
V The navies 68
VI Confederate high-water mark 84
VII A search for allies 98
VIII Stalemate, east and west 110
IX The South's last opportunity 126
X The armies 142
XI Two economies at war 156
XII The destruction of slavery 172
XIII The northern vise tightens 186
XIV The politics of war 202
XV Total warfare 218
XVI The forlorn hope 232
XVII Victory 246
XVIII End and beginning 262
XIX Sound of distant drums 276
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    Great Intro to Catton

    Bruce Catton is still the best writer on the Civil War. His use of language is witty, subtle, and leaves a lasting impression. This book was originally the narrative to accompany the pictures in the gigantic American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War. I got that book at age 12 in 1962, and my son still has it - it got me completely hooked on Catton. Because that book's focus was the pictures, the text is a somewhat superficial treatment of the war. However, Catton still manages to deliver a high-level, remarkably penetrating, and thorough perspective on the causes and effects of the war on the nation, including the political, social, and economic factors as well as the military campaigns. I recently bought the audio book version of this narrative, and found the verbal pictures it created of the scope and sweep of the war to be far more absorbing than the slide show and anecdotal perspective of Ken Burns' Civil War. Get this, in written or audio book form, and get hooked on Catton. Then read his Army of the Potomac trilogy: Mr. Lincoln's Army, Glory Road, and A Stillness at Appomatox. Also read his Civil War trilogy: The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat. You'll come to appreciate why he is the greatest of the Civil War historians, and that's no mean feat considering that Shelby Foote is part of the competition.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2000

    A Very Good Read

    I thought that this book written by Bruce Catton is an excellent book for people who are looking to brush up on thier Civil War knowledge. The book does not delve into tremendous detail, (if you are looking for a book that does i recommend the 3 volume series by Shelby Foote) but it does cover interesting factors. All in all a very good read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    Pretty Good

    Bruce Catton does a fantastic job a making sure there is a balance between facts about each aspect of The Civil War. The book follows the timeline of the war and gives you insight into the troops, the generals, troubles faced by leaders, living conditions, the economy, and the outcome. This is a great book for anyone who is looking to learn more about a dark and sad moment in American History.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2005

    Fast-Moving Overview of the US Civil War

    Bruce Catton, the author, traces the origins, actions, and outcomes of America's bloodiest conflict. Although the book describes the significant campaigns and some battles of the war, it is both a political and a military history. For an outstanding and detailed military history of the conflict, read Shelby Foote's three-volume Civil War series. In the 1971 edition which I read, I was struck by the very preachy tone of the first few pages, which reminded me of a jingoistic public school history book - self-righteous, non-critical, and unreferenced. (The book contains no bibliography. And the publisher is American Heritage Press.) But that's why modern states freely support universal primary education - to instill nationalism into its citizens. Catton, I would say, does a good job of this. All Americans are heroes in this book. Despite these obvious drawbacks, Catton's book is engagingly written and covers all the salient aspects of the conflict. In addition, he includes a biographical reference of all the major actors in the war. With its numerous drawings, photos, and maps and its fine writing, Catton keeps the reader engaged and yearning for more. Overall, I quite enjoyed reading Catton's popular history book. Just get past the first few pages and don't expect any bibliographic references.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    This book is OK. It is a VERY quick overview of the war and the

    This book is OK. It is a VERY quick overview of the war and the events preceding it. Its certainly not the most in depth civil war book, but I suppose that is hard to do in 400 pages. Its a good read if you want a summary. 

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