Books by Zak Mettger

Released: April 1, 1994

An uneven but thoughtful entry in the Young Readers' History of the Civil War. Mettger praises the courage and spirit of African-Americans on the battlefield and, especially, behind the lines, where they faced fierce social, military, and legal discrimination. She finds both political and strategic reasons for Lincoln's hesitancy to muster black units, recounts with admirable clarity the shabby treatment black soldiers and their families received from the Army, and concludes by showing how many of the survivors came out of the war with an awareness of their rights and abilities that served them well in civilian society. Mettger quotes frequently (if briefly) from documentary sources and uses side essays to focus on significant incidents or people. The 55 contemporary b&w illustrations are fuzzily reproduced and not always well chosen; many require interpretive captions. Hansen's Between Two Fires (1993) covers the topic in more detail (though with equally mediocre pictures); still, a serviceable introduction. Substantial bibliography (largely adult); index. (Nonfiction. 10- 14) Read full book review >