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INTO THE WEST by James M. McPherson


From Reconstruction to the Final Days of the American Frontier

by James M. McPherson

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86543-0
Publisher: Atheneum

Following his Fields of Fury: The American Civil War (2002), McPherson continues the story of what the Civil War meant for America’s future and how the U.S. was to be reconstructed. It’s a dramatic saga indeed, with sections on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the hanging of four conspirators, the first transcontinental railroad, the Ku Klux Klan, cowboys, Indian wars, Ghost Dances and the end of the frontier. Written by the premier historian of the American Civil War, this is another fine installment in a superb series on important periods of American history. Each brief essay on a key topic includes a sidebar of “Quick Facts” and a full-page photograph, painting or other illustration. Smaller illustrations are sprinkled throughout, and the writing is clear, lively and concise. Maps, a timeline, a glossary and websites all contribute to a thoroughly engaging format. The bibliography would be better if some of the fine works on the subject for younger readers were included, but overall, a superb volume that makes history come alive. (Nonfiction. 9-14)