Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The American civil war

Upon retirement I donated many of the books in the history section of my library but kept those about the War of the Rebellion. My Civil War shelf:


The earliest I acquired were Bruce Catton's three volume Centennial History of the Civil War. I also have his two volumes about Grant as general and the three volume Army of the Potomac. Catton is very readable. The best short history — political, social, and military — is James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. It is also free of any illusions about what the war was really about: slavery.

Manhunt is about the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln's assassination. The Goodwin book is subtitled "The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" and is a very good read including biographies of the members of his Cabinet and how he managed that rather disparate group during the war. There are a few books on that shelf that I have never read but should.