Not unlike The Real Abraham Lincoln (see p. 813) in content and its use of source material, this long and carefully selected ""documentary history"" of the Civil War by two outstanding American historians presents an over-all picture of the War by means of eye-witness accounts and a series of excellent editorial comments. Here, told through official reports, private letters, speeches and newspaper articles, is the whole story of the War: its beginnings; the gradual realization in both North and South of its scope and meaning; its dragging years of carnage; its great men and villains; the Emancipation Proclamation; Appomattox; Lincoln's death and Whitman's Captain, My Captain; and a final comment from a returned Union soldier: ""It almost seemed as if I had been away only a day or two and had taken up the farm work where I left off."" War correspondents, Pollard of Richmond, Dana and Townsend of New York, and many others, describe battles and interview officers; nurses tell of hospitals and Henry Adams remarks on diplomatic difficulties in England; Monitor and Merrimac fight again. McClellan writes boastful letters to his wife, complaining of Lincoln's meddling, and soldiers write homesick letters to their mothers, complaining of army food. Too weighty for easy reading and too long for youthful novices, this authentic if occasionally monotonous book will appeal to teachers, students, historians and literate addicts of Civil War history, and will make an excellent gift for collectors on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. An important work of reference for advanced students, it is an essential addition to all comprehensive American historical collections.