The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

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The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom is both a rich visual chronicle and the most acclaimed account of the most important conflict in our nation's history. It features:

*More than 700 illustrations, including a hundred and fifty in full color, ranging from rare contemporary photographs and period cartoons to etchings, woodcuts, and paintings

 

* 24 full-color maps depicting the major battles of the war plus key economic and political ...

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Overview

The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom is both a rich visual chronicle and the most acclaimed account of the most important conflict in our nation's history. It features:

*More than 700 illustrations, including a hundred and fifty in full color, ranging from rare contemporary photographs and period cartoons to etchings, woodcuts, and paintings

 

* 24 full-color maps depicting the major battles of the war plus key economic and political developments

 

* Extensive captions (some 35,000 words in all), many of which add new information and interpretations that significantly enhance the original text

 

* A streamlined version of the finest one-volume history of the Civil War in print, both a New York Times bestseller and the winner of a Pulitzer Prize

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History and a New York Times bestseller, Battle Cry of Freedom has been acclaimed as the finest one-volume history of the American Civil War ever published. James McPherson's epic narrative captures 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. This illustrated edition adds a rich new dimension to the acclaimed text with more than seven hundred pictures chosen by the author -- many rarely or never before published, and over one hundred and fifty in full color. James McPherson has supplied extensive original commentary for each illustration, including new information unavailable in the original edition. Twenty-four new maps in full color have been prepared specially for this volume.

Battle Cry of Freedom matches stirring drama with analytical insight, presenting the critical episodes of the era in vivid detail against the backdrop of economic and social changes that hastened war as well as those that followed in its aftermath. McPherson traces the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War -- the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, and then moves into a panoramic chronicle of the war itself. The bloody struggles at Manassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, and many other battlefields are grippingly retold; we read of the fall of Richmond and, in a truly moving passage, of the surrender of Lee's army. McPherson brilliantly illuminates the genius of Abraham Lincoln as both a wartime commander and the political leader of the Union, and he crisply sketches portraits of the main participants, from Jackson and Lee to Grant and Sherman.

Since its first publication, Battle Cry of Freedom has helped shape our understanding of such matters as the origins of the war; the formation of the Republican Party; internal dissent and antiwar opposition in North and South; and the fateful contingencies that determined the course of the conflict. It offers a coherent understanding of the vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, an era that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty. Both readers who already admire it as a classic, and those who have not encountered it before, will treasure this magnificent new edition.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Review
The best one-volume treatment of its subject I have ever come across . . . This is historical writing of the highest order.
Washington Post Book World
The Finest single volume on the war and its background.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Immediately takes its place as the best one-volume history of the coming of the American Civil War . . .
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Deftly coordinated, gracefully composed, charitably argued and suspensefully paid out, . . . as narrative history it is surpassing.
Library Journal
In this impressive book, famed Civil War historian McPherson revises his Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, reducing the text by one-fifth in order to add a stunning array of over 700 illustrations from the Civil War era-photographs, cartoons, lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, and paintings-that give new life to an already vivid, engrossing history. McPherson's text is a condensation rather than a reconsideration of his earlier work, but his original arguments stand up well even in the face of new scholarship on war, politics, and ideology because in the original he had anticipated much of that scholarship. Here, real value is added not only by the illustrations, which are neatly woven into the narrative, but also by the copious captions (which add up to some 35,000 words), which introduce new material and expand on subjects sometimes lightly touched in the original. Only the lack of a modern bibliographical essay mars McPherson's otherwise monumental achievement. One can smell the sweat and sulfur from McPherson's riveting narrative and can see the dangerous age as those who lived in it. Essential.-Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"In this impressive book, famed Civil War historian McPherson revises his Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, reducing the text by one-fifth in order to add a stunning array of over 700 illustrations from the Civil War era--photographs, cartoons, lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, and paintings--that give new life to an already vivid, engrossing history.... Real value is added not only by the illustrations, which are neatly woven into the narrative, but also by the copious captions (which add some 35,000 words), which introduce new material and expand on subjects sometimes lightly touched in the original.... One can smell the sweat and sulfur from McPherson's riveting narrative and can see the dangerous age as those who lived in it. Essential."--Library Journal

"If you read only one general history of the Civil War, McPherson's book should be it."--Houston Chronicle

"A handsome volume, much appreciated by any American history buff."--Seattle Times

"I could go on, but by now you get the point: The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom presents an outstanding set of images that will enrich anybody's understanding of the Civil War."--National Review Online

"Serious Civil War buffs will delight in this magisterial treatment."--PW Online

"For history buffs, the coffee-table book of the year."--Weekly Standard

"It would seem hard to improve upon a book that won a Pulitzer Prize, made bestseller lists and is widely considered the finest one-volume treatment of its subject, but McPherson's history of the Civil War has gained significantly from being reissued with illustrations. Except for being trimmed by about 20 percent and shorn of its notes, the text is virtually identical to that of 15 years ago. But the photographs, paintings, blueprints, cartoons and other illustrations--along with the author's lucid captions--add materially to the overall effect."--Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603760645
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 786
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History at Princeton University and the President of the American Historical Association. Widely acclaimed as the leading historian of the Civil War, he is the author of Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (a New York Times bestseller), For Cause and Comrades (winner of a Lincoln Prize), and many other books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.

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    1. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Valley City, North Dakota
    1. Education:
      B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) 1958; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1963

Table of Contents

Preface to the Illustrated Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Prologue: From the Halls of Montezuma 2
1 The United States at Midcentury 6
2 Mexico Will Poison Us 42
3 An Empire for Slavery 64
4 Slavery, Rum, and Romanism 92
5 The Crime Against Kansas 112
6 Mudsills and Greasy Mechanics for A. Lincoln 132
7 The Revolution of 1860 158
8 The Counterrevolution of 1861 184
9 Facing Both Ways: The Upper South's Dilemma 218
10 Amateurs Go the War 248
11 Farewell to the Ninety Days' War 276
12 Blockade and Beachhead: The Salt-Water War, 1861-1862 302
13 The River War in 1862 324
14 The Sinews of War 362
15 Billy Yank's Chickahominy Blues 382
16 We Must Free the Slaves or Be Ourselves Subdued 418
17 Carry Me Back to Old Virginny 434
18 John Bull's Virginia Reel 472
19 Three Rivers in Winter, 1862-1863 490
20 Fire in the Rear 512
21 Long Remember: The Summer of '63 538
22 Johnny Reb's Chattanooga Blues 580
23 When This Cruel War Is Over 604
24 If It Takes All Summer 624
25 After Four Years of Failure 662
26 We Are Going to Be Wiped off the Earth 682
27 South Carolina Must Be Destroyed 710
28 We Are All Americans 730
Epilogue: To the Shoals of Victory 750
Index 761
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Comprehensive treatment of the Civil War

    The best Civil War book I've read because it comprehensively discusses the complex interactions between the political and military environment prior and during the war, unlike many books that focus almost exclusively on the battles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    The best single book on the subject I have ever incountered

    A weighty but endlessly fascinating tome, this book is much more than a summery overview of the Civil War. James McPherson delves deeply into the complex causes of the war and then paints a detailed picture, not only of the military conflict, but also of the society and politics which drove it. McPherson is not afraid to dispute popular conventional wisdom about the war and backs up his positions with facts and original sources. His writing is clear and vivid and immerses me, at least, more deeply in the subject matter than any other writer of the period. Whether you are an avid Civil War buff or new to the field, you will most likely get a lot from this classic on the subject.

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