Title: The Civil War: The complete text of the bestselling narrative history of the Civil War--based on the celebrated PBS television series
Author: Geoffrey C. Ward (Author), Kenneth Burns (Author), RICHARD BURNS (Author)
Genre: American Civil War, War, Civil War
"The Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things.... It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads: the suffering, the enormous tragedy of the whole thing."- Shelby Foote, from The Civil War When the illustrated edition of The Civil War was first published, The New York Time hailed it as "a treasure for the eye and mind." Now Geoffrey Ward's magisterial work of history is available in a text-only edition that interweaves the author's narrative with the voices of the men and women who lived through the cataclysmic trial of our nationhood: not just Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Robert E. Lee, but genteel Southern ladies and escaped slaves, cavalry officers and common foot soldiers who fought in Yankee blue and Rebel gray. The Civil War also includes essays by our most distinguished historians of the era: Don E. Fehrenbacher, on the war's origins; Barbara J. Fields, on the freeing of the slaves; Shelby Foote, on the war's soldiers and commanders; James M. McPherson, on the political dimensions of the struggle; and C. Vann Woodward, assessing the America that emerged from the war's ashes.
I eagerly watched the Series when it debuted on PBS last century and was blown away by the quality and became a fan of Ken Burns then. This book was never on my radar and I have a superb Civil War library but now I am proud to have this comprehensive history in a place of honor.
This book does a superb job of telling the history of the Civil War chronologically. The book is more than that though because, like the tv series, this work comes alive with the words and feelings of men and women who were there. There are new essays from amazing historians including Shelby Foote that help make this a must purchase for even those who know the TV series well.
A fantastic read that will be on my re-read list and a candidate for a desert island.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Geoffrey Champion Ward is an author and screenwriter of various documentary presentations of American history. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1962.
He was an editor of American Heritage magazine early in his career. He wrote the television mini-series The Civil War with its director Ken Burns and has collaborated with Burns on every documentary he has made since, including Jazz and Baseball. This work won him five Emmy Awards. The most recent Burns/Ward collaboration, The War, premiered on PBS in September 2007. In addition he co-wrote The West, of which Ken Burns was an executive producer, with fellow historian Dayton Duncan.
Ken Burns is a documentary filmmaker. Producing films for more than 30 years.
Reviewed by: Mr. N