A Look at Books on the American Civil War

Civil War fiction and nonfiction, here are blogs on some of the best I’ve come across. Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorites are.


Favorite Civil War Books

One favorite Civil War Book is Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin"Here’s my list of my 25 favorite Civil War books and series, and why each made the list. From Catton’s centennial history and Foote’s massive narrative history to Leech’s elegant, Pulitzer-winning history of the nation’s capital; from Stowe’s war-starting Uncle Tom to the elder Shaara’s Pulitzer-winning angels, here are some of my favorite books.


Lincoln's Greatest Speech: A Book Review

White's books suggests the Second Inaugural is Greater than the Gettysburg AddressBook review of Ronald C. White , Jr.’s book “Lincoln’s Greatest Speech.” A worthwhile, illuminating look at 16th U.S. president’s Second Inaugural Address. He thinks the president did better on this one than he did at Gettysburg.



Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Book Review

Stout in his book "Upon the Alter of the Nation" sets out to determine if the Civil War was "a just war."In “Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War,” Harry S. Stout sets out to determine if the Civil War was a “just war.” I’m not sure he ever finds an answer in the book, but he takes us on a unique journey in the search.



Roll, Jordan, Roll: A Book Review

Controversial, but amazingly look at SlaveryA fascinating, exhaustive, sometimes laborious, look at slavery: How slaves and slaveholders were impacted by the abusive institution and how they dealt with it. A Bancroft Prize winner published in 1976, it is sometimes criticized for his theory of paternalism. He does presents both slave and slaveholder perspectives, enriching the book and the reader with the voices of both. The author, Eugene Genovese, approached the topic as a marxist, looking at it in terms of class. Genovese apparently drifted rightward and died in 2012 as a conservative.


Currently Reading

The Secret War for the Union Edwin C. Fishel

What role did intelligence play in the Civil War? From balloons to spies infiltrating enemy armies, from the signal corps to civilians? Mr. Fishel is going to reveal it, based on records from First Manassas to Gettysburg. (I’m a little disappointed he didn’t take his study to the end of the war.) He contends early on the North did a much better job of gathering useful information, in spite of perhaps overrated famous Southern Spies. Of course the generals didn’t always act on what they were told.