Written with the same comprehensiveness and in the same eminently readable style as the author's previous short history books, this lucid, objective account of America's Civil War takes readers from Lincoln's election in 1860 and the secession of the Southern states to the ultimate surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox in 1865. A Short History of the Civil War covers all the important historical highlights of America's most devastating war, while providing many ...
Written with the same comprehensiveness and in the same eminently readable style as the author's previous short history books, this lucid, objective account of America's Civil War takes readers from Lincoln's election in 1860 and the secession of the Southern states to the ultimate surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox in 1865. A Short History of the Civil War covers all the important historical highlights of America's most devastating war, while providing many fascinating and little-known details.
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.
This single-volume study of the American Civil War deserves to be ranked with the similar efforts of Bruce Catton (This Hallowed Ground, 1956), James McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom, 1988), and Fletcher Pratt (A Short History of the Civil War, 1968) . Stokesbury manages to encompass all the major events and personalities, discuss the origins of the war in slavery and sectionalism, maintain balance in coverage of both sides, and add an excellent brief bibliographic essay. As are his other works, this one is distinguished by a pleasant dry wit that readers may seek in vain from most contemporary historians. No less remarkable, Stokesbury accomplishes everything he does in considerably fewer pages than any of his three major coevals used in their books, let alone in less space than is taken by many of the ponderous texts on lightweight topics that burden the shelves of Civil War collections. Stokesbury's rare combination of scholarship and readability merits the highest recommendation.
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)
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.