The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

( 13 )

Overview

Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for History and a New York Times Bestseller, Battle Cry of Freedom is universally recognized as the definitive account of the Civil War. It was hailed in The New York Times as "historical writing of the highest order." The Washington Post called it "the finest single volume on the war and its background." And The Los Angeles Times wrote that "of the 50,000 books written on the Civil War, it is the finest compression of that national paroxysm ...

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Overview

Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for History and a New York Times Bestseller, Battle Cry of Freedom is universally recognized as the definitive account of the Civil War. It was hailed in The New York Times as "historical writing of the highest order." The Washington Post called it "the finest single volume on the war and its background." And The Los Angeles Times wrote that "of the 50,000 books written on the Civil War, it is the finest compression of that national paroxysm ever fitted between two covers."
Now available in a splendid new edition is The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom. Boasting some seven hundred pictures, including a hundred and fifty color images and twenty-four full-color maps, here is the ultimate gift book for everyone interested in American history. McPherson has selected all the illustrations, including rare contemporary photographs, period cartoons, etchings, woodcuts, and paintings, carefully choosing those that best illuminate the narrative. More important, he has written extensive captions (some 35,000 words in all, virtually a book in themselves), many of which offer genuinely new information and interpretations that significantly enhance the text. The text itself, streamlined by McPherson, remains a fast-paced narrative that brilliantly captures two decades of contentious American history, from the Mexican War to Lee's surrender at Appomattox. The reader will find a truly masterful chronicle of the war itself—the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities—as well as McPherson's thoughtful commentary on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.
A must-have purchase for the legions of Civil War buffs, The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom is both a spectacularly beautiful volume and the definitive account of the most important conflict in our nation's history.

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Editorial Reviews

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

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195159011
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Pages: 800
  • Sales rank: 342,929
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.00 (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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    MAGNIFICENT ACCOUNT OF THE ERA

    I received this volume as a Christmas gift. Being an avid Civil War buff and especially a James M. McPherson fan specifically, I was thrilled to own this volume. It is probably the most balanced account of the time that I have read. Mr. McPherson gives the reader a complete picture of what led to this catastrophic event, as well as a thorough account of the event itself. I would recommend this for any Civil War enthusiast's library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    An excellent single volume history of the American Civil War

    This is an excellent single volume history of the American Civil War. Originally published in 1988, this updated version of the Pulitzer Prize winning history now includes haunting photographs, maps, paintings, and newspaper cartoons. This is much more than a history of the war. It covers the people, economics, political atmosphere, and events that led America into disaster. All of the major land battles and campaigns are covered as well as naval action at sea and on America's rivers. Reading this book gives one a taste of the anger, hate, frustration, and political intensity of the time. Both Northern and Southern armies suffered horrific casualties from the battles, disease, and the crude medical technology available, making the Civil War the bloodiest war in American history. If you are going to read a single volume history of the Civil War, this is the best one in my opinion written to date. It should be required reading for students of American History.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2003

    A treasure

    In 1989 Professor McPherson released his epic BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA to tremendous reception from critics and casual readers alike. The work has since become recognized as the single source for anything involving the American Civil War. The tome provided insight into the causes (incredible introduction) and war with an extra emphasis on the slavery issue.<P> Thirteen years later, the classic Civil War history book returns with a new illustrated printing that adds further depth to this classic. History buffs, not necessarily just students will appreciate the revised edition as the pictures and other illustrations add depth to an already deep reference book. Though this reviewer has not finished reading this edition (one chapter a week), the ILLUSTRATED BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA is a great historical volume even better than the first.<P> Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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