Saturday, January 25, 2014

CW Book Review: "Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction" by Allen Guelzo

Having just completed this week's eSabbath, another book is added to the "read" shelf from the "to read" shelf, and that is Allen C. Guelzo's "Fateful Lighting: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction"  It is an absolute must read for any serious student of the Civil War, and for those who are not so serious, it offers the best "one stop shopping" overview of our nation's most consequential war.

I have read more books about the Civil War than any other subject, but I seem to have an insatiable desire for more.  This book certainly filled it.  Guelzo is evenhanded, favoring neither side.  He traces the seeds of secession from their roots in sectional colonial jealousy.  He punctures the myth of monolithic Northern hostility to slavery by distinguishing between it and the POLITICAL power the South maintained because of it.  He does not fixate on battlefield formations and he uses battles only as a way to move the story along.

If you want battles and diagrams and formations and topography--this is not your book.

If you want a damn good soup to nuts history of the Civil War--illuminated with superb writing and sources I have never come across before--then this is your book

1 comment:

"The Hammer" said...

Reconstruction... sure it was. It's refreshing to see that politicians of the 19th century (or historians of the 20th) were as full of shit with buzz words like "reconstruction" when the exact opposite was what they had in mind.

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