A Short History of the Civil War

Overview

The Definitive One-Volume History of the American Civil War

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was the pivotal conflict of the nation’s history. It was a wardefined by savage brutality, untold human costs, and monumental political crises that left theliteral and social landscape of the nation forever changed. One hundred fifty years later, itcontinues to hold a powerful grip on the American psyche. In A Short History of the Civil War, notedhistorian James L. Stokesbury ...

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Overview

The Definitive One-Volume History of the American Civil War

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was the pivotal conflict of the nation’s history. It was a wardefined by savage brutality, untold human costs, and monumental political crises that left theliteral and social landscape of the nation forever changed. One hundred fifty years later, itcontinues to hold a powerful grip on the American psyche. In A Short History of the Civil War, notedhistorian James L. Stokesbury dramatically and concisely chronicles the important events leading upto the war and, using maps, recounts its decisive battles while describing the strategies and tactics ofthe North’s and South’s prominent commanders. Drawing on fascinating details and little-known facts,Stokesbury also brings to life the generals—Grant, Lee, Hooker, McClellan, Jackson—and the unsungheroes of this great struggle between the Union and the Confederacy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With this study, Stokesbury, professor of history at Acadia University, enhances his reputation as an interpreter of complex wars in brief texts (A Short History of World War I; A Short History of World War II). Blending perceptive analysis with concise narrative, he describes the Civil War as America's defining experience both for the causes involved and for the tremendous human and material costs. Stokesbury makes a solid case that participants thought the war was worth the effort and the sacrifice. Southerners convinced themselves they had intended less to preserve slavery than to leave an oppressive system. Northerners fought for "a new birth of freedom,'' a redefining of the meaning of "government of the people, by the people, for the people.'' Both sides were proud enough of themselves that they could ultimately be Americans again. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Stokesbury accomplishes what few American history teachers can boast-he covers the entire Civil War in a mere 350 pages. His concise treatment begins with the election of Lincoln in November 1860 and ends with the surrender at Appomattox, VA, in April 1865. Important highlights, including the political and economic issues as well as the military campaigns and leadership, are recounted in a factual, readable manner. Eleven maps of major battle sites further explain the 620,000 casualties of the war. The impact of period technology; iron clads and railroads for troops and supply movement and in battle is addressed. The suggested list of approximately 100 titles for further reading is loosely organized by topic, e.g., technical and factual compendiums, multi- and single-volume histories, campaign and battle information, biography, etc., and held together by the author's running commentary. This list will be invaluable to students faced with the glut of resources. The comprehensive index is a guide to battles, events, people, and places. YAs can get a quick fix here, or use this book as an introduction to more extensive research.Carol Clark, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA.
Booknews
An account beginning with Lincoln's election in 1860 and ending with the surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox in 1865. Covers the military aspects of the war in detail, with additional analysis of economic, political, social, and technological issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062064783
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 358,472
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James L. Stokesbury is the author of A Short History of World War I, A Short History of World War II, A Short History of the Korean War, and A Short History of the American Revolution. Before his death in 1995 he was a professor of history at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
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