Synopses & Reviews
The complete text of the bestselling narrative history of the Civil War based on the celebrated PBS television series. This illustrated edition interweaves the author's narrative with the voices of the men and women who lived through that cataclysmic trail of our nationhood, from Abraham Lincoln to ordinary foot soldiers. Includes essays by distinguished historians of the era.
This magnificent pictorial history portrays the Civil War as never before, from the events leading to the firing of the first shot at Fort Sumter, through the battles at Shiloh and Gettysburg, the siege of Vicksburg, Sherman's march to the sea, and Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
The companion volume to the celebrated PBS television series, with a new preface to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary
With more than 500 illustrations: rare Civil War photographs many never before published as well as paintings, lithographs, and maps reproduced in full color
It was the greatest war in American history. It was waged in 10,000 places from Valverde, New Mexico, and Tullahoma, Tennessee, to St. Albans, Vermont, and Fernandina on the Florida coast. More than 3 million Americans fought in it and more than 600,000 men died in it. Not only the immensity of the cataclysm but the new weapons, the new standards of generalship, and the new strategies of destruction together with the birth of photography were to make the Civil War an event present ever since in the American consciousness. Thousands of books have been written about it. Yet there has never been a history of the Civil War quite like this one.
A wealth of documentary illustrations and a narrative alive with original and energetic scholarship combine to present both the grand sweep of events and the minutest of human details. Here are the crucial events of the war: the firing of the first shots at Fort Sumter; the battles of Shiloh, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg; the siege of Vicksburg; Sherman s dramatic march to the sea; the surrender at Appomattox. Here are the superb portraits of the key figures: Abraham Lincoln, claiming for the presidency almost autocratic power in order to preserve the Union; the austere Jefferson Davis, whose government disappeared almost before it could be formed; Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, seasoned generals of fierce brilliance and reckless determination. Here is the America in which the war was fought: The Civil War is not simply the story of great battles and great generals; it is also an elaborate portrait of the American people individuals and families, northerners and southerners, soldiers and civilians, slaves and slaveowners, rich and poor, urban and rural caught up in the turbulence of the times.
An additional resonance is provided by four essays, the work of prominent Civil War historians. Don E. Fehrenbacher discusses the causes of the war; Barbara J. Fields writes about emancipation; James M. McPherson looks at the politics of the 1864 election; C. Vann Woodward speculates on how the war has affected the American identity. And Shelby Foote talks to filmmaker Ken Burns about wartime life on the battlefield and at home.
A magnificent book. In its visual power, its meticulous research, its textual brilliance, and the humanity of its narrative, The Civil War will stand among the most illuminating and memorable portrayals of the American past.
From the Hardcover edition."
This magnificent pictorial history portrays the Civil War as never before, from the events leading to the firing of the first shot at Fort Sumter, through the battles at Shiloh and Gettysburg, the siege of Vicksburg, Sherman's march to the sea, and Lee's surrender at Appomattox. 500 photos.
The best of the Ken Burns trade paperbacks, including The Civil War: An Illustrated History, Baseball: An Illustrated History, Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Jazz: A History of America's Music and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.
About the Author
Geoffrey C. Ward is the author of eleven books, including A First-Class Temperament
, which won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 1990 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians. He has written or co-written many documentary films, including The Civil War
, The West
, Thomas Jefferson
, Not for Ourselves Alone
, and Jazz
. He lives in New York City.
Ken Burns, founder of Florentine Films, is a director, producer, and writer who has been making documentaries for more than twenty years. His landmark film The Civil War was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television, and his work has won numerous prizes, including the Emmy and Peabody Awards. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.