By a master storyteller and leading Civil War historian, the story of Lee's greatest victory, gained in four days of fighting in May 1863. Sears (Landscape Turned Red, 1983, etc.) draws fresh life from combatants' eyewitness accounts, in diaries, memoirs, letters, and regimental histories. He traces the origins of the battle of Chancellorsville to a cabal of Union officers that forced the loser of Fredericksburg, Ambrose Burnside, to resign as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Sears credits Burnside's successor, ``Fighting Joe'' Hooker, with transforming a poorly supplied and ill-paid army marked by low morale and poor discipline into a tougher, more professional army within two months. Hooker promised President Lincoln that his newly shaped-up army would attack Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia soon and end the war. Sears finds Hooker's plans to attack Lee in Virginia sound in concept but poor in execution. Lee, with only half the number of Union troops, violated an old military axiom by splitting his army, using Stonewall Jackson to move a strong assault force around enemy lines to strike the Union's sleepy right flank. Jackson's surprise assault was the key to a brilliant but costly victory; in the confusion Jackson was mortally wounded by his own troops. Sears argues that incompetent corps commanders let Hooker down by failing to execute orders properly, and that Hooker was also compromised by poor intelligence and by a cavalry general who failed in his mission to cut off Lee's supply train. Lee's tactics finally forced the Union troops to abandon the field. Sears believes that, ironically, Lee's victory at Chancellorsville emboldened him to invade Pennsylvania, which resulted in his bloody defeat at Gettysburg. Another definitive book by the skilled Sears—a must for Civil War students and buffs. (16 b&w photos, not seen) (History Book Club main selection)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-395-64317-2

Page Count: 588

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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