The Civil War (American Heritage)

The Civil War American Heritage Infinitely readable and absorbing Bruce Catton s The Civil War is one of the most widely read general histories of the war available in a single volume Introduced by the critically acclaimed Civil Wa
  • Title: The Civil War (American Heritage)
  • Author: Bruce Catton James M. McPherson
  • ISBN: 9780618001873
  • Page: 471
  • Format: Paperback
  • Infinitely readable and absorbing, Bruce Catton s The Civil War is one of the most widely read general histories of the war available in a single volume Introduced by the critically acclaimed Civil War historian James M McPherson, The Civil War vividly traces one of the most moving chapters in American history, from the early division between the North and the South to tInfinitely readable and absorbing, Bruce Catton s The Civil War is one of the most widely read general histories of the war available in a single volume Introduced by the critically acclaimed Civil War historian James M McPherson, The Civil War vividly traces one of the most moving chapters in American history, from the early division between the North and the South to the final surrender of Confederate troops Catton s account of battles is a must read for anyone interested in the war that divided America, carefully weaving details about the political activities of the Union and Confederate armies and diplomatic efforts overseas.
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    2 thoughts on “The Civil War (American Heritage)

    1. Catton was known as a narrative historian who specialized in popular histories that emphasized the colorful characters and vignettes of history, in addition to the simple dates, facts, and analysis His works, although well researched, were generally not presented in a rigorous academic style, supported by footnotes In the long line of Civil War historians, Catton is arguably the most prolific and popular of all, with Shelby Foote his only conceivable rival Oliver Jensen, who succeeded him as editor of American Heritage magazine, wrote There is a near magic power of imagination in Catton s work that seemed to project him physically into the battlefields, along the dusty roads and to the campfires of another age Bruce Catton was born in Petoskey, Michigan, but spent most of his boyhood in Benzonia He was the son of a Congregationalist minister, who accepted a teaching position in Benzonia Academy and later became the academy s headmaster As a boy, Bruce first heard the reminiscences of the aged veterans who had fought in the Civil War Their stories made a lasting impression upon him, giving a color and a tone, Catton wrote in his memoir, Waiting for the Morning Train 1972 , not merely to our village life, but to the concept of life with which we grew up I think I was always subconsciously driven by an attempt to restate that faith and to show where it was properly grounded, how it grew out of what a great many young men on both sides felt and believed and were brave enough to do Catton attended Oberlin College, starting in 1916, but he left without completing a degree due to the outbreak of World War I After serving briefly in the U.S Navy during the war, Catton became a reporter and wrote for various newspapers the Cleveland News as a freelance reporter , the Boston American 1920 24 , and the Cleveland Plain Dealer 1925 From then until 1941, he worked for the Newspaper Enterprise Association a Scripps Howard syndicate , for which he wrote editorials, book reviews, and served as a correspondent from Washington, D.C.At the start of World War II, Catton was too old for military service and, starting in 1941, he served as Director of Information for the War Production Board and later held similar posts in the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior This experience as a federal employee prepared him to write his first book, War Lords of Washington, in 1948 Although the book was not a commercial success, it inspired Catton to leave the federal government in 1952 to become a full time author.In 1954 Catton was one of four founders of American Heritage magazine, and served initially as a writer, reviewer, and editor In the first issue, he wrote We intend to deal with that great, unfinished and illogically inspiring story of the American people doing, being and becoming Our American heritage is greater than any one of us It can express itself in very homely truths in the end it can lift up our eyes beyond the glow in the sunset skies.In 1959 Catton was named senior editor of American Heritage, a post he held for the rest of his life.Bruce Catton died in his summer home at Frankfort, Michigan.

    2. When I was a kid, my grandparents thought they would do something that every grandparent should do share what they love with the next generation They bought me a subscription to the Time Life series on The Civil War Now for those of you too young to remember, Time Life used to publish these monthly book series on various topics The idea was that you would receive the books once a month, each book on a different topic in the series My father had the Science Series, which I absolutely adored, and [...]

    3. Bruce Catton was a highly distinguished and respected Civil War historian, writing numerous books about the period This book is a condensed version of the War weighing in at slightly over 300 pages after including three appendices , yet seemingly nothing was left out Catton covers all of the major battles, personalities, and factors that led to this horrible conflict He concludes with a short yet penetrating chapter on the immediate and long term effects of Abraham Lincoln s assassination how Se [...]

    4. The American Civil War is one of the most written about conflicts in history Aside from reading Doris Kearns Goodwin s Team of Rivals which is wonderful, by the way and working through an EdX class taught by Eric Foner, I have merely collected books on the subject in anticipation of delving deeply into the conflict, politics, characters and period of the Civil War With so much material to consume I wanted to find a relatively short primer on the war Something that covers the larger conflicts, mo [...]

    5. This book provides a bird s eye view of the war, with emphasis on broad stroke explanations instead of minute details I will read Shelby Foote s trilogy for the full account With this approach the author is able to narrate the war as a comprehensible story, elucidating how one event leads to another and how they progress in a historical arch The writing is superb making the book a pleasure to read.

    6. The Civil War, by Bruce Catton, has helped one understand the political motivations as well as the military plans and actions during the U.S civil war The civil war, following the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the arguing of slavery, has occurred due to the eleven states creating confederate states, angering Lincoln, and leading to war The split between the southern and northern side of the U.S was very well illustrated through the causes and different opinions regarding slavery in the civil [...]

    7. A very detailed book about the political motivations for the Civil war and the military maneuvering of it as well In those respects it does a very excellent job in painting a full picture of things as they were There were a few things that I took away from the book that I wasn t very aware of prior to reading it.1 The emancipation proclamation was not as a result of a moral aha moment that Lincoln had as much of how it is characterized would have you believe It was a political and military calcu [...]

    8. Concise yet comprehensive history of the events leading to and including the entire Civil War Catton s writing is clear and easy to follow and the book is so interesting that before you know it, you are almost finished Included within the entire text are sketches and photographs of key people, places and battles that enhance the written word greatly Although not the most comprehensive book on the subject, Catton is perfect for war buffs and the curious in equal measure If you are looking for a g [...]

    9. Someone told me this was Brad Birzer s favorite general history of the Civil War I have not confirmed that, but I did find it an enjoyable, engaging, and overall helpful read Catton has clear prose, and while you might be tempted to disagree with some of his conclusions he is a careful and fair judge of a war continually being rewritten The middle chapters have a tad too much economic determinism in this for my tastes I especially enjoyed the latter chapters on the Army of the Tennessee and the [...]

    10. There is a lot that happens in the Civil War So, I guess I shouldn t have been surprised that this good, solid overview of the conflict does not go much into the details of the numerous battles even Gettysburg I appreciated that the book addresses nearly all aspects of the war social, political, military, economic, etc I bought this as an audio book I think it will be a good one to go back and listen to again from time to time.

    11. I enjoyed this book It had the usual Generals and dates and locations but it also had the deeper story Such as the north was undergoing an industrial revolution, while the south was stuck in aristocracy and agriculture This helped the north win the war.

    12. Good book Expands on This Hallowed Ground effectively with background issues although without quite the same level of dramatic narration

    13. The book is about the bloodiest period of American history ever to that day The book starts with information about the republics parliaments, state and national politics The main portraits depicted in this piece are Generals and both presidents respectively Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis Both sides had their own goals and things they deemed had to be achieved like restoring their independence on one side and securing integrity and sovereignty of the republic I personally didn t really felt [...]

    14. The writing was excellent and fascinating Unfortunately, the maps were small and difficult to understand That s the problem with black and white maps in paperback books.

    15. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED It won t be news to anyone who knows anything about the Civil War that the late Bruce Catton was the Grand Poobah of Civil War historians He has held that distinction for well over half a century now Sheepishly, I admit and with great envy for all those who ve long ago put Catton and Foote and McPherson and the legions of other Civil War master storytellers behind them in their Civil War life reading lists this is my virginal experience with a canonical Civil War overview tome [...]

    16. One hundred and fifty five years ago, our country was rent in two With the issues of slavery, states rights, and many others swirling around, the tension became two great, spawning two nations and the deadliest conflict in American history In Bruce Catton s The Civil War, an objective history is presented While many historians show the Civil War from just one side, Catton remains objective, asserting from the beginning that men on both sides fought with valor He even goes so far as to say that i [...]

    17. The Civil War is a good surface exploration of a topic that has inspired countless volumes of books, and will continue to do so for many years to come I believe this text would be helpful to someone who has been away from the topic of the Civil War for a long time as I was and needs a refresher course, or for someone who has an interest in the war, has gotten into it a little, but wants to get a nice overview so they can appreciate their later explorations on the topic It serves as a great found [...]

    18. I ve always wanted to read about the Civil War, currently reading about Vietnam I do have a couple of books, but ran across this as an audiobook, by Bruce Caton, author of A Stillness at Appomattox, and a well regarded historian Soooo, over the past three or so weeks, been reading in my car This volume brings it all together, from the political precursors, the issue of slavery being the major one, to States Rights to Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, all that stuff we read about in High Schoo [...]

    19. It s a pre Civil Rights era history of the U.S Civil War for a mainstream audience Topics such as abolitionism, John Brown, black regiments in the Union Army, and the train of refugee slaves following Sherman s army they re not handled with even the minimum of respect commonly found in treatment of these topics today.That said, this book is a vivid account of the military side of the war Catton has a knack for drawing the reader s attention to a selection of the key decisions that led to each ba [...]

    20. A well renowned book that provides a solid foundational look at this most devastating conflict, one that snatched the lives of around 620,000 men in uniform to put that in perspective, U.S casualties of BOTH World Wars 1 2 numbered around 517,000 brought about unprecedented industrial progress, and of course sounded the death knell on that most unpalatable of institutions chattel slavery.This also dispels some of the common myths around the Civil War, that Lincoln s main impetus for war was to e [...]

    21. It can t be easy to write a book summarizing the entire American Civil War, but Catton did a commendable job with this one For those who do not know the intricacies of what led to the war, the first chapter is devoted to getting the reader up to speed After that, Catton takes the reader through all the campaigns and theaters of war from Fort Sumter up to Appomattox Courthouse There is no hero worship or demonizing of the people involved Catton s criticism of some decisions is evident in his writ [...]

    22. As a Swede European, I never had the opportunity in school to dive deep into the American Civil War, because there s only so much time in history class and there s a lot of history to wade through I asked around and got two recommendations The first and almost unanimous recommendation was this one The Civil War by Bruce Catton The second one is The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara We ll see when I ll get to that one.This one, though, was fantastic It was just the right length and spent just enoug [...]

    23. Well written short 280 pages introduction to the Civil War, hits on all the important points with enough supporting detail Obviously won t give you the detail that Battle Cry of Freedom or Foote s 3 volume opus will, but its succinctness makes it easier to track the concurrent happenings of the war it s tough to remember what Grant s army had done last after 100 pages of reading what s happening in Virginia The scholarship is a little behind the times since it was written 50 years ago , but ther [...]

    24. Wanting to get a nice, easy, and quick summary of The Civil War without getting bogged down in the minutiae details, I chose to read Catton s book Somehow, I got most of what I wanted, but the military details were still unclear to me and needed to be cleaned up It was a fascinating read but a grim one There were really no stories about individual heroism but straightforward accounts how each side progressed through the war Interestingly, it was the side notes surrounding the war about politics [...]

    25. Wow, this book took me almost a year to finish I picked it up from the Ontario airport when I was leaving California for the last time I figured it s the civil war, I m moving to Virginia, it makes sense The book was really interesting, it just read really slowly because it too often got bogged down with troop movements and general s locations It definitely was very true to both sides of the war, not favoring south or north Both armies, you learn, made fantastic blunders and both we re equally c [...]

    26. There s so much civil war history out in this part of the country You can be at Harpers Ferry or Antietam in about an hour, at Gettysburg in two or three And right here in DC there s enough to keep the most avid civil war buff occupied for weeks Some people ignore the history, others get so absorbed with it that they dress up as soldiers and reenact battles I just wanted to review the civil war and understand its chronology and the setting of the various battles a bit thorougly This book was re [...]

    27. I started reading this book on April 12 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first shots fired on Fort Sumter Obviously, this account of the Civil War cannot be as detailed as a longer book or multi volume work would be However, in a way it is nice to have the entire war covered in one relatively short book so as to develop a good sense of the overall sweep of the war and keep track of what happened in different places at or less the same time.I have been a fan of Bruce Catton s writing [...]

    28. The blurb on the back of the book begins infinitely readable and absorbing which is a ridiculous sentence It is thus only grudgingly that I concede its truth The book provides an engaging account of the war and of other key aspects of the American Civil War era It is void of specific details, or of extended accounts of any one issue or battle I think James McPherson s Battle Cry of Freedom is the same book as Catton s but it is a better book, because it goes into much greater detail I suspect t [...]

    29. An easy to read short history of the civil war It does not have the great depth of Shelby Foote s incredible trilogy, but Foote focuses mostly on the battles of the Army of the Potomac Foote also goes a little into depth about the political aspects of the war However, because it was easy to read, it might be worth reading some of Catton s other, specific books on aspects of the Civil War, and it does chronicle the major battles and players of the war, as well as the general sentiments of the t [...]

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