Battle Cry of Freedom

The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States) Oxford History of the United States

952 pages

English language

Published Oct. 24, 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA.


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4 stars (1 review)

A military, political, and social history of the Civil War.

3 editions

Deserves its Reputation as the Best One Volume History of the Civil War

4 stars

This is a long and comprehensive history of the Civil War. It makes an excellent first book for people who are interested in the subject and want to get in depth. McPherson does a very good job mixing in strategy and battle descriptions (with a middling amount of depth that worked well for me) with sidebars about other issues like POWs, battlefield medicine, diplomacy with Europe, etc. It gives a clear explanation of the back and forth flow of the war and helped me learn a lot more about US and Confederate internal politics during the war. I got some flashes of personality from the players, but would have appreciated more fleshing out beyond the very top leaders.

It includes a lot of the run-up to the war, but ends abruptly after Appomattox and leaves the Lincoln assassination and reconstruction to other volumes.

The maps weren't very useful in an …