Comprehensive research and concise narrative ensure that this history will be the first stop for a new generation of Civil...




An exhaustive one-volume history presenting not only the major battles in Virginia but also illuminating such usually overlooked parts of the Civil War as western battles and naval actions.

Eicher (The Civil War in Books, not reviewed), associate editor of North and South magazine, provides a definitive military narrative that also serves as a reference guide to the technological and social challenges underlying the brutal combat. He begins by rehashing the well-known circumstances of Fort Sumter’s fall to the South and maintains this conventional tone as he describes individual episodes from the war: President Lincoln remains frustrated as he searches for aggressive military leadership; General Lee’s battlefield audacity at Chancellorsville still shines brilliantly in comparison to his decidedly amateur Union opponents; General Grant’s personal tenacity and drive to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia continue to be key to the North’s ultimate victory. Despite his mostly commonplace approach, Eicher provides a unique look at the relationships between the conflict’s major actions that other studies of the individual battles or campaigns fail to provide. By tracking troop movements between Eastern and Western operational theatres, he reveals both Union and Confederate attempts to implement national strategies that would result in ultimate victory. Eicher suggests that the coordinated actions of Grant in Virginia and Sherman further south finally pressured the South into submission. While other historians have described these battles and analyzed both Northern and Southern societies in far more detail, only Eicher has managed to assemble the myriad issues of the Civil War into a single, coherent volume.

Comprehensive research and concise narrative ensure that this history will be the first stop for a new generation of Civil War scholars, students, and enthusiasts. (49 maps)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2001

ISBN: 0-684-84944-5

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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