The Civil War: An Illustrated History

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

3.8 45
by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, Ric Burns, Ken C. Burns

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The award-winning PBS series spawned this book, which is filled with evocative photographs and essays from some of the nation's leading Civil War historians.See more details below


The award-winning PBS series spawned this book, which is filled with evocative photographs and essays from some of the nation's leading Civil War historians.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Companion volume to a forthcoming PBS series, this is an extraordinary collection of photos, engravings and paintings, many published for the first time, conveying military and political events of the Civil War, accompanied by a pungent text that avoids sentimentality in depicting "the most horrible, necessary, intimate, acrimonious, mean-spirited, and heroic'' war in our history. Typical illustrations include a photo of a pile of amputated feet, four pages of clinical portraits of maimed soldiers, photos of nurses at work in hospitals and rare studio portraits of slaves among some 500 illustrations which, in combination with the text, present a memorable record of the War Between the States. The book, assembled by Ward, author of A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, and historians Ken and Ric Burns, also includes original essays by distinguished historians James M. McPherson and C. Vann Woodward among others, and an edifying interview with historian Shelby Foote. BOMC main selection. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Filled with vignettes of generals, soldiers, and women on the home front, and spiced by personal accounts of battles and camp life, this book presents the war as the central defining event of American history and of the lives of those Americans caught up in it. In four separate, additional essays, professional historians briefly discuss the causes of the war, emancipation, the politics of the war, and its long-term meaning. Ward's running narrative will cause scholars to wince at his occasional hyperbole, but readers will thrill to his brisk prose, ironic sense, and eye for detail--and to the 500+ photographs studding the volume (some startling, several never before published). Intended as the companion to a nine-part PBS-TV series on the Civil War, this compelling work should command its own large audience. No book can fully capture the intensity of the war, but this volume approaches it. Highly recommended for public and college libraries. BOMC main selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/90.--Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
School Library Journal
YA-- A glowing companion volume to the celebrated PBS television series that is informative and poignant. After exhausting research in museums, libraries, and newspapers, 475 images were selected to show readers what people, places, and events looked like during this crisis that shook the foundation of American civilization. The text that accompanies these illustrations is often the voices of the men and women who lived it. Extensive use of diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts bring the world of the 1860s to life. Five Civil War historians provide essays that add a third dimension to this fascinating work. A selected bibliography that includes some of the most noted works on the Civil War and a complete index are included. The book can be used as a companion to the PBS series or as a valuable resource on its own. It should be included in all Civil War collections.--Dolores M. Steinhauer, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA
From the Publisher
"An absorbing experience... A fine work of scholarship."- Boston Globe

"Succeeds in evoking both the grandeur of the war and its basic humanity."- Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.19(w) x 10.87(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey C. Ward is the author of eleven books, including A First-Class Temperament, which won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 1990 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians. He has written or co-written many documentary films, including The Civil War, Baseball, The West, Thomas Jefferson, Not for Ourselves Alone, and Jazz. He lives in New York City.

Ken Burns, founder of Florentine Films, is a director, producer, and writer who has been making documentaries for more than twenty years. His landmark film The Civil War was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television, and his work has won numerous prizes, including the Emmy and Peabody Awards. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

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