1861: The Civil War Awakening

1861: The Civil War Awakening

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1861 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
lrtbooks More than 1 year ago
Not to be missed, and not your typical Civil War volume. Rather than focusing on detailed description of the early 1861 battles (although the surrender of Fort Sumter is given extensive coverage), this book is at its best when describing little known events and characters, and always in sparkling, descriptive prose. For example, a section on Elmer Ellsworth (one of the first conspicuous casualties of the war) and his fighting "Zouaves" is absolutely riveting and very entertaining. I predict glowing critical reviews of this one, and indeed, Kirkus Reviews has already given it a starred rave. Highly recommended for Civil War fans and lovers of great writing.
Brainylainy More than 1 year ago
As a Civil War buff, I thought I knew all about 1861. I did not. This is an engagingly written, beautifully researched gripping account that takes you from December 20, 1860, the day South Carolina seceded, to the end of the fateful year that followed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating book, lots of stories I never knew. Written with humor and intelligence--really hard to put down.
catwak More than 1 year ago
Ignorance of a subject has never stopped me from expressing an opinion in the past, but here I speak with some (self-proclaimed) authority, having earned 2 degrees in American history many years ago and having slogged through much of the material I'm sure Mr. Goodheart had to endure in order to write this wonderful book. His narrative makes the complexity of time and place come alive with graceful, entertaining, engaging prose. One of the dirty little secrets about much 19th century source material is that it is ponderously written and often boring, despite the drama of thesubject matter. *1861* is anything but. Nor can today's historical purists gripe that *1861* is merely a popularized rehash; the reliance on original source material is prodigious and meticulous. If I could fault *1861* for any one thing, it would be that the narrative reads like it was written by someone with a mild case of ADD. By that I mean that instead of a linear tale, the story jumps around in place and time, so that it really helps to have a NOOK link to Google and Wikipedia, even though the actual time period covered barely gets you past First Manassas! Adam Goodheart is truly gifted. I hope that *1861* is just the first of many.
bjgard More than 1 year ago
While this book hasn't named my ancestors, it provides the background on the political climate of the times. One of the best books to tell of the times. It has given my research new energy and direction.
lucas21181 More than 1 year ago
I had a great feeling about this book. And my gut was PERFECT! I really hope Adam Goodheart writes "1862"
revgirl More than 1 year ago
What a treat! First book I've read on the Civil War & I wasn't disappointed!
jerseydevil More than 1 year ago
In 1861: The Civil War Awakening author Adam Goodheart tells the story of this extraordinary year in America. This is not just a history of the start of the Civil War, it's more of a collection of gripping biographies of remarkable, yet little-known Americans at the start of the second American Revolution.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the most entertaining and enlightening books on the Civil War I have ever read. This is not a military history but rather a social history of a society dramatically coming to terms with issues it has avoided for decades. The author brings things into focus that students of the war will recognize, but not in the manner presented here. This is the first book that showed me why people would view John Brown as anything but a religious zealot. Adam Goodheart writes with the entertaining style, and historical detail that reminds me of Barbara Tuchman and Ted White. This book will be on everyone's year end top ten
Jtdraig More than 1 year ago
This is one of the better history books I have read on the events that led to the US Civil War. I was fascinated with the detail. I do recommend this book to any serious student of US history in that era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly readable; as much a cultural history as a political one. Our book group was amazed at the information we'd never learned in HS/College history class.
jccMA More than 1 year ago
a great book...one of the best in recent memory
Bentley74 More than 1 year ago
Extremely well written and a cogent presentation of differing perspectives of opinions and allegiances that evolved in the year prior to the onset of war, this book brings out many , hitherto little or unknown facts about the opinions and the causes that broke down any chances of peaceful resolution of the slavery question. The role of German immigrants is only of the elements that are often omitted in most histories of that era. Indeed the whole course of the war turned"on a dime" with several key incidents described well in this easily read and hard to put down book. "1861" seemed an appropriate bookend to another great read, "April 1865" in that they both give fresh perpectives, little known facts, and some great portrayals of the great leaders of that era. The focus of this work is mostly from the pro-Union side, but nevertheless appeared reasonably objective even to this "unreconstructed" Southern historian and civil war "buff".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are then get this book. A nice fresh perspective on this time period.
BkCltr More than 1 year ago
This book has some very interesting stories and tidbits of history, but was a bit too chaotic jumping back and forth in time and from person to person. If you can handle scatter shot writing with no thought out story line, you may like this. If you like linear history, find something else.
JEROME ARNOLD More than 1 year ago
Should be required reading in any study of American History. Well done.
civilwar-buff More than 1 year ago
I have always been mystified about why this great country almost tore itself apart during the civil war. Much of the existing material is about the actual war and the skirmishes or tend to focus on Abraham Lincoln. Nothing wrong with that, however, there was always something missing. Adam Goodheart brings in the human angle and you almost feel like you are reliving the days leading upto the civil war.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not exactly what I expected...This book was good but I feel like it was filled with a lot of unnecessary information, which honestly bored me. It's not so much a chronicle of the early parts of the war as it is a chronicle of different people's lives in the 1860s. Some chapter were exceptional; some were long and irrelevant, in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking under the comic book section and this showed up, I am not very into comics, so I really wouldn't know, but is this really a comic book?
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