Top 10 Books on American Civil War

 

The American Civil War a defining time in the history of the American nation. This war which lasted from 1861 – 1865 defined what kind of a nation it would be. The revolution had left few questions unanswered which the war solved. This war brought an immediate end to the long history of slavery and made America a progressive nation as we know it today where everybody’s liberty and equality is assured. The war started over the differences between the free and the slave states over the question of power and superiority.

 

Battle Cry of Freedom

With its new approach towards the war and presenting a side of the war that is less known, this book became the go-to book for studying American Civil War.

Read it For:
The narrative well integrates the political, social and military events that crowded around the war.
Don't Read it For:
The narrative is fast-paced, and there are too many events.
What makes this book stand out?:
It not just covers the American Civil war but also events around two decades old that led to the war in the first place.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Goodwin makes a case for Lincoln’s political genius by examining his relationship with three men he selected to be the members of his cabinet, all of whom were opponents for the Republican Nomination in 1860.

Read it For:
Goodwin offers a fresh insight into Lincoln’s personality.
Don't Read it For:
The book is very lengthy.
What makes this book stand out?:
Though we have many books on Lincoln this one is the one we just cannot do without.

Gone with the Wind

This book will take you inside the American War, the fear and the aftermath like none other did. The story will never leave you for the rest of your life.

Read it For:
No other book presents a better amalgamation of love and war.
Don't Read it For:
You will have a hard time falling out of love with this book
What makes this book stand out?:
This book has won Pulitzer award and has also led the way for two sequels

This Republic of Suffering

He reveals in his book the ways that death on an unimaginable scale changed not only individual lives but also a whole nation.

Read it For:
The book presents a vivid understanding of the Civil War
Don't Read it For:
It presents a disheartening picture of the Civil war.
What makes this book stand out?:
Drew presents the dark side of the war, the death.
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Confederate in the Attic

The journal of a war journalist who comes home to escape from the wars for a while but little did he know that a bigger war awaits him at his home.

Read it For:
Confederate is an entertaining book that tries to explain the American obsession with war.
Don't Read it For:
The book reveals some horrifying, disturbing facts.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is written with Horwitz’s signature blend of history, humour and hard-nosed journalism.

Race and Reunion

1865, was confronted with a bloodshed landscape and a torn nation, after which North and South saw a painful process of reconciliation.

Read it For:
Race and Reunion talk about the aftermath of the war, what happened after the war ended.
Don't Read it For:
The book talks about a painful legacy of slavehood that haunts us.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book stands out of the league of similar books due to its manner of description.

Landscape gone Red: The Battle of Antietam

The battle of Antietam was the largest of any American war and the deadliest of all, spreading around the smell of blood and rotting bodies.

Read it For:
Sears based his book on accounts from diaries, dispatches and letters about the war.
Don't Read it For:
The details are disturbing.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book is a winner of the Fletcher Platt award for the best non-fiction book about the American Civil War.

Gettysburg Address

The speech was delivered on November 19, 1863, among the freshly dug graves of the Union dead, who had laid their lives for the nation.

Read it For:
The Gettysburg Address defined the central meaning of the war and gave cause to the nation’s suffering.
Don't Read it For:
This address is guaranteed to move you to tears.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is the most famous speech that Lincoln gave.

The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson and the Americans

Charles Royster gave us this incisive dual biography, hypnotically engrossing military history and a cautionary examination of the American penchant for patriotic bloodshed.

Read it For:
He studies well the characters of William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson before presenting them to us.
Don't Read it For:
The book involves a gory description of the bloodshed on the war.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book tries to re-enact the scenario of the war and the probable roles of the leaders.

Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant

Before his death in 1885, General Ulysses made it a point to finish his memoirs of the war. The book tells in detail how the victory was achieved.

Read it For:
It is one of the finest examples of autobiography.
Don't Read it For:
It is General Ulysses’s version of the war, you might get a one-sided view of the war.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is a journal of the battleground itself.

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