Recommend a good general book on the Civil War

gary

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#1
What's a good book (or set of books if multi-volume but not more than 3 volumes) on the American Civil War? I may need it for a non-Civil War person so she can have a basic understanding of the war. Thanks.
 

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johan_steele

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#2
Campfires & Battlefields, I'm not certain of the author off hand. It's an interesting read and covers quite a bit in depth w/ lots of photographic reference. It's a BIG book though and might be a bit imposing.

Battle Cry of Freedom by McPherson is another good book.

Bruce Cattons History of the Civil War might be a good choice as well.

Bell Irvin Wiolley's books The Life of Billy Yank & The Life of Johnny Reb are also good primers on the men who were on the sharp end.

HardTack & Coffee might another good option on the life of a CW soldier. It's a fun read and written by a man who was there.

All for Union by Elisha Hunt Rhodes would be another good read written by a man who was in the thick of it for four years.

I think Hardtack & Coffee would be my first choice as it covers so many of the attitudes and daily life of a CW soldier. It doesn't really mention dates and battles but it does get across the mood.
 
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#3
Gary,
I have found "None Died in Vain" by Robert Leckie is a very good book that covers the entire war and is written in a easily understandable format that even a non-CivilWar person should enjoy.
Keith
 

gary

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#5
Thanks guys. Remember, the book is for a non-Civil War person so that she may have a basic grasp of the war. Hardtack & Coffee is too nitty gritty and the "big picture" is what I want for her. BTW, I loved Hardtack & Coffee. Remember the part about burying horses or mules and the "hurrah" of the upchucking novices but without the first "h?"
 
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#6
How about very basics... "Don't Know Much about the Civil War" and "The Civil War for Dummies."

I actually started with Ken Burns' TV series, as did a lot of people I know.

Zou
 

scone

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#7
I go with the American Heritage New history of the Civil War or if the person is younger the Golden book of the Civil War adapted for young readers.

Its basicly the very same book but the golding book has less extra info in it.
 

johan_steele

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#8
I've got to second Zou's suggestion for the Ken Burns series... I didn't even think of video. Plus you might get the added bonus of having to sit through it w/ her! On another note I recently finished listening too "The Civil War for Dummie... or was it idiots on Cassete. That is another option. I listen to books on tape only because of the amount of driving I do, but some people reswpond better to books on tape. I know that's how my wife keeeps her sanity when dealing w/ my daughter and all of the housework she does.
 
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#9
I recommend two, mainly because I got them for Christmas, "Look Away" by William C. Davis which discusses the history of the Confederate government and "Confederates in the Attic" by Tony Horwitz which gives insight to how the Confederacy is viewed differently by several sections of the South. Confederates in the Attic also has two chapters dealing specifically with black and white racism.
 



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