"Battle Cry" is a Pulitzer winner and generally regarded as the best one-volume treatment of the Civil War. I'd say this praise is well deserved. In addition to an overview of the war itself, McPherson delves into the many problems in the 1850s that lead up to the war and other important events from the 1850-65 period that get overshadowed by the war. The navy, emancipation, Republican policies, and the role of women are all touched upon. There are definitely some minor points that could be nitpicked and some of the summaries border on oversimplification, but there is ALOT to cram into a single volume and McPherson is a very good writer.