Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

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Oxford University Press, USA, Dec 11, 2003 - History - 909 pages
418 Reviews
Now featuring a new Afterword by the author, this handy paperback edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom is without question the definitive one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War including the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. From there it moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself—the battles, the strategic maneuvering by each side, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict. The South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war, slavery, and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.

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Great insight and story telling. - Goodreads
Great coverage of the Civil War in one volume. - Goodreads
This book is well written and exceptionally researched. - Goodreads
Excellent overview of the Civil War - Goodreads
Very good overview of the war. - Goodreads
A great writer, and an fabulous researcher. - Goodreads

Review: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States #6)

User Review  - Evelyn - Goodreads

After dawdling on reading this book for over a year, I finally finished it over my most recent vacation. It's amazing how much time you have when you're visiting relatives who don't trust you to do ... Read full review

Review: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States #6)

User Review  - J. - Goodreads

Exceptional book about the war and about Lincoln. It's easy to miss how close the North came to loosing; they lost about 100,000 more troops than the South. I was also fascinated to learn having grown ... Read full review

About the author (2003)


James M. McPherson is Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include The Struggle for Equality, Marching Toward Freedom, and Ordeal by Fire.

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