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Reveille in Washington: 1860-1865 (New York Review Books Classics)


Reveille in Washington: 1860-1865 (New York Review Books Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

1860: The American capital is sprawling, fractured, squalid, colored by patriotism and treason, and deeply divided along the political lines that will soon embroil the nation in bloody conflict. Chaotic and corrupt, the young city is populated by bellicose congressmen, Confederate 

conspirators, and enterprising prostitutes. Soldiers of a volunteer army swing from the dome of the Capitol, assassins stalk the avenues, and Abraham Lincoln struggles to justify his presidency as the Union heads to war. 

  Reveille in Washington focuses on the everyday politics and preoccupations of Washington during the Civil War. From the stench of corpse-littered streets to the plunging lace on Mary Lincoln’s evening gowns, Margaret Leech illuminates the city and its familiar figures—among them Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, William Seward, and Mary Surratt—in intimate and fascinating detail. 

   Leech’s book remains widely recognized as both an impressive feat of scholarship and an uncommonly engrossing work of history.

Book News Annotation:

Leech, an American novelist, biographer, and historian, was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for History with this classic work in Civil War studies, first published in 1941. She captures five pivotal years in the history of the nation's capitol, profiling heroes, rogues, villains, and spies as the city transitioned from an unpaved country town to a modern city. The portrait of the city includes profiles of key figures such as the Lincoln family, Civil War generals, businessman Andrew Carnegie, and Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. A few b&w maps are included. The 2001 reprint is cited in Resources for College Libraries (which RCL classes E565). Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Margaret Leech (1893–1974) was an American historian, novelist and dramatist. She twice received the Pulitzer Prize in history, for Reveille in Washington (1942) and In the Days of McKinley (1960); with the former she became the first woman to receive a Pulitzer in that category.


James McPherson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. His other bestselling books include For Cause and Comrades, Drawn with the Sword, What They Fought For; Gettysburg; and Fields of Fury. A professor at Princeton University, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Product Details

Leech, Margaret
New York Review of Books
McPherson, James
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
US History-1800 to Civil War
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.27 x 1.26 in 1.4 lb

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Reveille in Washington: 1860-1865 (New York Review Books Classics) Sale Trade Paper
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