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    Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    DVD (07 June, 2005)
    list price: $14.96 -- our price: $10.47
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    Editorial Review

    Three days in the summer of 1863, at a place called Gettysburg. Although it received a theatrical release, this four-hour depiction of the bloody Civil War battle was shot as a made-for-television film. But no taint of cheapness or shortcuts should stick to this magnificent picture (well, except maybe for those phony-looking mustaches). Based on Michael Shaara's book The Killer Angels, this film takes a refreshingly slow, thorough approach to the intricacies of battle. In ordinary circumstances, those intricacies might seem of importance only to fans of military strategy or Civil War enthusiasts, yet in Gettysburg they come across as the very stuff of life, death, and unexpected heroism. If the film has a problem, it's that it climaxes too early: the first long segment, detailing the struggle of a "civilian soldier," Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), to hold his ground against long odds, is an enthralling piece of moviemaking. Daniels, in a heartbreaking performance, does his best film work. Other cast members include Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, and Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee. Richard Jordan, in his final role, gives a powerhouse performance as Confederate general Lewis A. Armistead. Oh, and you can also try to spot Ted Turner, whose company produced the film, as a Confederate soldier. Writer-director Ronald F. Maxwell seems inspired by the gravity of the battle; long as it is, every moment of Gettysburg is informed by a nobility of purpose. --Robert Horton ... Read more


    • Color
    • Widescreen
    • Closed-captioned
    • Dolby
    Reviews (372)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good, one of my favorite subjects of US history
    follows the book my Michael Sharrah very well.Covers the four days of the single battle that killed more americans than any battle since.Great for anybody, no matter where they live in the world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gettysburg
    As you might guess, "Gettysburg" is about the decisive battle in the Civil War.It tells of how very brave men on both sides fought hard for causes they all believed in.The battle scenes themselves are confirmed by historians (and Civil War buffs) as being very acurate.The portreyel of all the principal soldiers are also dead on.The script, by director Ronald Maxwell (based on Michael Shaara's book "The Killing Angel") was pretty sparce on character's background; you only found out what you needed to know, which in most cases was where the character came from.The battle scenes were impressive; even more so becuase it was a made for cable movie (keep in mind "Gettysburg" was before made for TV and cable movies were on par with theatrical releases).The cast was great.Tom Barenger is in probably the best role since "Platoon" here as Lt. Gen. Longstreet.Martin Sheen is excellent as just short of religious fanatic General Lee.And Jeff Daniels is the heart of the show as young Lt. Col. Chamberlain, who is serving with his brother as his executive officer.I think that brings home about why the soldiers fought: it was because the man beside you was your brother or your neighbor or something like that; there was no Pvt. Ryan clauses yet.This is a great way to learn about your American History if you are tired of reading heavy old tomes and want something livelier.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the most famous battle of the most deadliest war....
    Get ready for July 1863, when the armies of the Union and Confederacy clash at the small Pennsylvania town of the title. Among them are Martin Sheen as General Robert E. Lee, who disagrees with his top advisor, General James Longstreet (Tom Berenger) over battle strategy, and Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a college professor whose unorthodox techniques save the day (and possibly the war) for his beleaguered army. Other cast standouts include Richard Jordan in his final film appearance as the ill-fated General Lewis Armistead, and cameo roles for Civil War buff Ken Burns and media mogul producer Ted Turner. Filmed on-location at Gettysburg National Military Park ... Read more

    Asin: B00003CXA6
    Subjects:  1. Feature Film-action/Adventure   


    Glory (Special Edition)
    Director: Edward Zwick
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    DVD (30 January, 2001)
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $23.96
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    Editorial Review

    One of the very best films about the Civil War, this instant classic from 1989 is also one of the few films to depict the participation of African American soldiers in Civil War combat. Based in part on the books Lay This Laurel by Lincoln Kirstein and One Gallant Rush by Peter Burchard, the film also draws from the letters of Robert Gould Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick), the 25-year-old son of Boston abolitionists who volunteered to command the all-black 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Their training and battle experience leads them to their final assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina, where their heroic bravery turned bitter defeat into a symbolic victory that brought recognition to black soldiers and turned the tide of the war. With painstaking attention to historical detail and richness of character, the film boasts superior performances by Denzel Washington (who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher. Directed by Edward Zwick (co-creator of the TV series thirtysomething), this unforgettable drama is as important as Schindler's List in its treatment of a noble yet little-known episode of history. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more


    • Color
    • Closed-captioned
    • Widescreen
    Reviews (290)

    Sometimes the smallest of victories can be the greatest ones, even if they are symbolic.This movie shows the courage and tenacity of the african american soldiers who were fighting for at that time, a freedom that would not become to their people for a long time until after their death.Matthew Broderick is AWESOME and you'll forget who Ferris Buehler even is after watching him in this role.If you like war movies, movies about civil war history, or stories about poeple overcoming oppresion, this is the real, raw deal!

    Glory is a celebration of a little-known act of mass courage during the Civil War. Simply put, the heroes involved have been ignored by history due to racism. Those heroes were the all-black members of the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, headed by Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), the son of an influential abolitionist (played by an uncredited Jane Alexander). Despite the fact that the Civil War is ostensibly being fought on their behalf, the black soldiers are denied virtually every privilege and amenity that is matter of course for their white counterparts; as in armies past and future, they are given the most menial and demeaning of tasks. Still, none of the soldiers quit the regiment when given the chance. The unofficial leaders of the group are gravedigger John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and fugitive slave Trip (Denzel Washington), respectively representing the brains and heart of the organization.

    The 54th acquit themselves valiantly at Fort Wagner, SC, charging a fortification manned by some 1,000 Confederates. Glory was based on Lincoln Kirstein's Lay This Laurel and Peter Burchard's One Gallant Rush; the latter book was founded on the letters of Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the real-life character played by Matthew Broderick.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Story, Fair Movie
    In the summer of 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the nation's first black regiment, led an unsuccessful attack on the Confederate's Fort Wagner in South Carolina. They took horrendous casualties, nearly fifty percent, including the young colonel who commanded them, Col. Robert G. Shaw. Tactically, this battle was of little account to the course of the war, but symbolically it had the power of a mighty Niagara. It proved that black men could and would fight and die for their country and their freedom, and opened the way for thousands more to join the ranks of the Union. The balance on the scales of war was tipped unalterably to the Union.
    Like that battle whose history it chronicles, `Glory' is a movie whose primary importance lies in its symbolism. While it is a cut above most movies made about the Civil War, it is not of itself a great movie. While adequate, none of the actors involved were up to their best work, not even Denzel Washington who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role. Matthew Broderick was down-right wooden as Colonel Shaw in one of the weakest performances of his career. And direct Zwick depended far too heavily on the swell of the orchestral score and chorus to note significant moments in his film. Still, after shining through the prism of the symbolic events that it portrayed, this movie somehow managed to become more than the sum of its parts, and if I cannot call it great, I can at least say that it is a good film that is well worth your viewing.
    The historical details of uniforms and equipment are nearly flawless in `Glory'. It does take some creative liberties with the history, chiefly by portraying the 54th as being made up mainly of escaped slaves from the South rather than being composed of mostly free black men from New England, as was the case. I found this to be an acceptable liberty, as I believe the writers were trying to tell the larger story of the black Union soldier with this opening chapter. Thomas, one of the principal characters in the regiment is portrayed as an educate free black man from Boston, and stands in for the men who historically made up the 54th.
    `Glory' includes several scenes of battle, and for the most part, they are well done. Though they stop far short of showing the actual horror, gore, and savagery that was the typical battle field of the Civil War, they hint most effectively at it. They are far better than the typical re-enactors pageants that pass for battle scenes in many Civil War movies. Unfortunately Zwick chose to use a swelling orchestral score behind the battles instead of allowing the natural din of the fight to enhance the realism of the scenes, and this detracts slightly from their effectiveness.
    While `Glory' is not a great movie, it is good enough, with enough stirring moments to make it memorable. It does a fair job of telling a most important story, and should not be missed by anyone with more than a passing interest in the Civil War.

    Theo Logos

    5-0 out of 5 stars They Entered Glory by the Big Door!
    Usually movies based on historically facts are plagued with inaccuracies. Fortunately this is not the case!
    It is a great reconstruction of the Civil War period based on personal letters from Col. Shaw and two books: Kirstein's "Lay this Laurel" and Burchard's "One Gallant Rush". From this solid documental background an outstanding film emerges.

    The storyline follows the evolution of the first all Afro American Regiment in the USA Army.
    Show step by step from the recruiting, boots camp practice, first war actions till the mighty final charge.
    Col. Shaw and his aide Maj. Forbes should fight prejudice within the officers and high command.
    Sgt. Major Rawlings should fight to bring together his green bunch of recruits into a soldier's team, proud of themselves and capable to endure and overcome all obstacles.
    Pvt. Trip should fight to tame his rebel soul in order to be part of the group.

    The movie has many great moments; three of them are delivered in the last fifteen minutes: the soldier's meeting the night before the attack, the regiment passing thru the deployed army and the glorious final charge. Really unforgettable!

    Matthew Broderick has the perfect physque-du-rolĂȘ to impersonate a very young man (almost wet behind the ears) charged with an overwhelming task. He delivers a nice acting piece.
    This said, undoubtedly, the best acting performance are in charge of Denzel Washington, justly awarded with Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Morgan Freeman.

    Edward Zwick as director (he is also a very successful producer) delivers his best film up to this day. Better IMHO to "The Last Samurai" (2003) that was a very good one.
    I hope he will give the public a good version of one of my favorite fiction book: "The Lions of Al-Rassan" (promised for next year).

    This is for me the best Civil War movie I've seen. Enjoy!
    Reviewed by Max Yofre. ... Read more

    Asin: B000051YMQ
    Subjects:  1. Feature Film-action/Adventure   


    The Civil War Trilogy: Gods and Generals/the Killer Angels/the Last Full Measure
    by Jeff Shaara, Michael Shaara
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 May, 1999)
    list price: $43.85 -- our price: $27.63
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    Editorial Review

    AuthorJeff M. Shaara rounds out the Civil War Trilogy started by his late fatherMichael Shaara, whose bookThe Killer Angels described the Battle of Gettysburg. WhileGods and Generals covered action prior to Gettysburg,The Last Full Measure picks up with Confederate General Robert E. Lee's retreat from Pennsylvania and continues through the end of the war. The younger Shaara focuses on the characters of Lee and Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, both of whom play prominent roles in the earlier books. He also introduces a new one: Ulysses S. Grant, the Union general who would finally defeat the South--something no soldier before him could manage. The Last Full Measure is often exciting and poignant, and fans of The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals won't be disappointed. A nicely boxed edition of this classic historical fiction. --John Miller ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (22)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Human And Sentimental Aspects of Civil War
    The Civil war was not one of the historical events that I have vast knowledge of. I was inspired to purchase this trilogy after captivated by the movies "Gettysburg" and "Gods And Generals". While it may be unfair to compare the books with the movies, I do find all the characters and events concerned more alive and intresting in the pages of this trilogy.

    Even though the trilogy has been categorized as fiction, the line between facts and fictions becomes blurred not far into the reading. Perhaps it does not take much effort for a Civil war buff to spot the two, it really does not matter much. After all, these books may never be used in a history class. The heart of the matter in these pages is the human and sentimental aspects of a war that shaped a great nation. It is the frustrations, struggles, and personal decisions of Robert Lee, Winfield Scott Hancock, and many others that give life to this trilogy. In comparison, their involvement in the war itself seems almost just a mere call of duty, dealing with methodical affairs of planning military strategies.

    The continuity of the trilogy would have been perfect had there not been a slight difference in the writing styles (The Killer Angel was authored by Mr. Jefferey Shaara's father, Michael Shaara). Still, both authors deserve all the credits as the job was well done.

    In the media coverages nowadays that rarely show the emotional vulnerability of our soldiers in wars, this trilogy prompts me, one of the many fortunate ones that have the luxury not to constantly worry about survival, to imagine what goes on beyond the diligence and precision these men armor themselves with.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Civil War Trilogy
    I read all three books and I thought they were amazing. I learned more about the Civil War through these books than through any history class I have ever taken. You will actully feel you know these characters and when one dies you will feel the pain. My favorite character was Joshua Lawernce Chamberlin. You follow him from when he volunteers for the army until the end of the war. You will also follow Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson for the Confederates. You follow Buford, Hancock, Grant, and of course Chamberlin for the Union.It is a story or normal men caught up in amazing times. It is an epic journey through America's darkest period when friends fought friends, when brothers fought brothers, and when Americans fought Americans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of these books, are unmatched.
    This are all great books.The movie "Gettysburg" inspired me to read "The Killer Angels."I was never one who liked to read much.I read when I had to, but I never read for pleasure.However, I could not put these books done.They sucked me right back into the 1860's.I felt I was there with "Stonewall" Jackson visiting his mothers grave,I felt that I helped Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain defend Little Round Top at Gettysburg.These are great books.They can take a person like myself who does not read much, and makes you not want to stop reading.These were the first books, that I actually finished.Alot of times, I started books, but I never finished them.I had to finish these books, because they were so great.These books will be part of my book collection forever. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0345433726
    Subjects:  1. 1861-1865, Civil War    2. Civil War, 1861-1865    3. Fiction    4. Fiction - Historical    5. Historical - General    6. History    7. United States    8. War & Military   


    Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle
    by Kenneth W. Noe
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (August, 2001)
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $23.10
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is what a battle history should be!
    The Battle of Perryville, which took place in central Kentucky in October 1862, was in my opinion one of the most important battles of the Civil War.In a day of intense combat, Confederate and Federal troops fought over the Chaplin Hills northwest and west of the little (even to today) town of Perryville.In the end, the Southerners had gained a tactical victory, but lost the campaign, perhaps ending the last chance the Confederacy had of bringing in Kentucky.

    In "Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle," Kenneth W. Noe provides the reader with an excellent study of the battle.From the Confederate movement northward from Chattanooga to their subsequent retreat back to the Volunteer State, Mr. Noe covers all the important events.He is very critical of Union General Don Carlos Buell's handling of the Army of the Ohio during the maneuvering in Middle Tennessee, and also reveals the in-fighting, and discontent, present within that army throughout this campaign.Mr. Noe covers the entire campaign, from start to finish, very well.

    The maps in this book are second to none, allowing the reader to easily follow the movements of both Northern and Southern soldiers, as well as understand the topograpy of the battlefield.Interspersed throughout the narrative are old photos of commanders involved in the battle and of the battlefield, along with modern photos of sites on the battlefield.Combine these with Mr. Noe's excellent writing and one has a great narrative of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign.

    The Battle of Perryville has been all but ingored by Civil War historians.However, Mr. Noe has gone far in bringing this deserving battle to the forefront.No Civil War library is complete without this book.After reading this book, I find myself hoping that Mr. Noe will continue to write volumes on Civil War campaigns.Get this book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bragg versus Buell
    Perryville may not be one of the best-known Civil War battles, but its story is well worth telling. Kenneth Noe does a good job in explaining the events of October 8th 1862, making a complex and confusing battle comprehensible. He puts the battle into context by explaining why Braxton Bragg's Confederate Army of the Mississippi headed into Kentucky. The prize at stake was the allegiance of the border state, whether it would follow the South or stay in the Union.

    Noe is fairly critical of Bragg, even arguing that he suffered from mental illness. This is one of the least successful aspects of his analysis. Noe recognises the dangers of using modern psychiatry to investigate historical figures, but then proceeds to expose his analysis to just this danger by classifying Bragg as a manic-depressive. Bragg had his faults and in the Perryville campaign made mistakes, but the fact remains that his 16,000 men took on Buell's 55,000 man Army of the Ohio and beat them. Bragg's leadership does not look quite so insane when it is remembered that he won the battle. Noe is not nearly as critical of Buell, but it would be equally easy to apply a psychiatric analysis to a man who was miles away from the fighting while his army fought for its life. Noe's analysis generally does not give enough credit to the Confederate performance and rather whitewashes the Union army. Bragg's army faced odds at least as bad as Lee's army did at Chancellorsville, yet the Army of the Potomac is routinely condemned for its performance there, and Lee's leadership is generally praised while Hooker's is usually criticised. Bragg should certainly get some credit for the victory at Perryville and should not be put on the psychiatrist's couch.

    Noe should however, be praised for the depth of his research and the clarity of his writing. He uses contemporary sources well to give the reader a sense of what it was like to be fighting the battle. His book is not an especially easy read, but this has more to do with the complexity of the battle, than any faults in Noe's style of writing. It would have helped to have a few more maps. The maps, which are provided, are adequate, but not as good as in some other Civil War books. These criticisms though, are outweighed by the merits of Noe's book. I very much enjoyed reading it and learned a great deal about an important and interesting battle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A model campaign study
    An unfailingly interesting account by a fine historian.Kenneth W. Noe has made sense of one of the most neglected and confusing campaigns of the entire Civil War. He has sorted through the geographical complexities and factionalism in both armies to show his readers why people should still care about what happened near an obscure Kentucky village over 140 years ago. His work is truly a pioneering one.Unlike most campaign studies, this excellent book pays considerable attention to the treatment of the wounded, the effects of battle on the local landscape, the lives of veterans after the war, and even how the battlefield itself was interpreted and preserved. It will be the standard account for many years to come. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0813122090
    Sales Rank: 197591
    Subjects:  1. History    2. History - General History    3. History: American    4. Military - Other    5. Military History - U.S. Civil War    6. Perryville, Battle of, Perryvi    7. Perryville, Battle of, Perryville, Ky., 1862    8. U.S. History - Civil War And Reconstruction (1860-1877)    9. United States - Civil War    10. United States - State & Local - General   


    The Orphan Brigade: The Kentucky Confederates who couldn't go home
    by William C Davis
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Unknown Binding (1980)
    list price: $12.95
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Adopt this book!
    Davis tells the story of the how the Orphan Brigade came about which also covers daily camp life, individual stories and how the regiments formed. It is very clear just how the regiments were grouped and organized through descriptive writing. Many stories of soldiers hard fighting in their history at places such as Shiloh, Chickamauga, Murfreesboro and their dreaded marches in Mississippi around Vicksburg is covered. This book answers questions I had like: Just how did they fight? Who was in command? Who died? What became of the regiments after their numbers dwindled? Davis easily answers all of these and tells the story of the Orphan Brigade from beginning to end. This book is great for anyone looking to gain information on Western Campaigns and gain further knowledge on Kentuckians who had the odds stacked against them. It is perfect to gain an understanding about Kentucky in the Civil War and those who chose to fight for the south that lived there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars entertaining and at the same time tragic
    This is the story of the brigade (in the Civil War, from 5000 to 2000 men or so depending on the stage of the war) of Kentuckians who fought for the Confederacy.Kentucky being occupied relatively early in the war, they fought on far from home through the war.

    Davis does well at covering the breadth of experience of soldiers:the life of the private in the ranks, as well as of the senior officer, is well researched.He captures the unique cultural distinctions of Kentucky quite nicely:masters at obtaining bourbon, an informal approach, raw courage, and love of horses.The bungling of generals is not soft-pedaled, which is just as well considering how much the Orphans suffered from it.

    Worth adding to any Civil War library, but of particular interest to Kentuckian history buffs. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0385148933
    Sales Rank: 1290549

    The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference
    by James M. McPherson, Margaret E. Wagner, Gary W. Gallagher, Paul Finkelman
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (13 September, 2002)
    list price: $45.00 -- our price: $29.70
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, wonderful reference work!
    I had been looking for something like this for years. A brilliant compendium of information, attractively laid out. Parts of it are well-written enough to read as narratives; other parts are mostly useful as references (similar to encyclopedia entries).Not aimed solely at the hard-core Civil War buff, but useful in the library of anyone interested in American history who wants a solid and user-friendly overview of virtually every facet of the Civil War.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly readable and informative single volume
    If one wishes to have a single volume of the civil war in all its various aspects, one would be hard pressed to find a better treatise than the nearly 1,000 page Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference.

    It does not deal with the battles in depth as do so many other volumes on this epic struggle between North and South.Nevertheless, the battles on land and water are described and accompanied by many well executed maps.Descriptions of the armies and their weaponry are treated in detail, as is the treatment of prisoners of war.There are time lines on politics, slavery, naval encounters, and reconstruction.

    The chapters that are most significant, from my point of view, are those that deal with nonmilitary aspects of the war:the economic differences of the north and south, the importance of religion in the lives of Americans, a brief account of slavery in the United states, a history of the beginning and development of the rift that led to the conflict.An excellent chapter of nearly one hundred pages deals with the politics the war. A rather grim, but enlightening, chapter discusses the treatment of the wounded (many amputations), the fight to control disease, and people important in establishing policy and organizing hospitals and field teams of doctors and nurses. A part of wartime history often relegated to the sidelines is the home front.A separate chapter on this subject corrects that neglected topic. A lengthy chapter considers the reconstruction following the end of hostilities.And where else but in this considerable tome would one find not only an account of the armies and battles but also one of the civil war in literature and the arts.After wading through this book, if your curiosity is stimulated to pursue a topic in greater depth then browse the final two chapters, where you will find lists and descriptions of civil war novels, poets and poetry, music, cinema, stage plays, and television movies and documentaries -- all dealing with the civil war.Also a list of organizations that promote the preservation of battlefields, others that document the civil war veterans and their descendants, reenactments of the war, a listing by state of major artifact and archival collections, and important publications on the civil war.

    There is no single volume that is more wide ranging in its treatment of the civil war.The editors and the contributors are to be congratulated for putting into one highly readable volume almost anything one might want to learn about the civil war.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Reference For Civl War Buffs
    The Desk Reference contains more than 100 photographs, maps and numerous tables that provide interesting facts and information about the Civil War. It is well organized and contains an easy to use list of Contents. It covers all aspects of the war, from major armies and key battles to prisons, medical care and events occuring on the home front. It doesn't read as a novel because it's purpose is to become a good reference source. James MacPherson wrote in the Preface to the book, " You will soon be impressed. and you will soon be hooked. Your knowledge and understanding of this greatest of American wars will expand and deepen more than you thought possible from a single volume." ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684863502
    Sales Rank: 160716
    Subjects:  1. Chronology    2. Civil War, 1861-1865    3. History    4. History - Military / War    5. History: American    6. Reference    7. U.S. History - Civil War And Reconstruction (1860-1877)    8. United States    9. United States - Civil War    10. History / Reference   


    Americas Civil War
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    list price: $29.94 -- our price: $19.95
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    • Magazine Subscription
    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful magazine for Civil War buffs!
    I've been a faithful subscriber to "America's Civil War" since 1993, and I'd say that it's easily one of the best history-related magazines in existence. I read each issue cover-to-cover, even the letters to the editor. Long after I first started studying the Civil War almost 15 years ago, I'm still learning a lot from this and other magazines like "Civil War Times Illustrated" (which is also great). In each issue of "America's Civil War" you can find a variety of articles in the following categories: personality (which focuses on a specific soldier of officer), eyewitness to war (great first-hand accounts from both soldiers and civilians), men and materiel (weapons and equipment), reviews, commands (focuses on individual units), preservation (of artifacts and historic sites), and of course several articles which can cover a wide range of topics, from battles and leaders to politics and slavery. Although I wish more would be written about the neglected Western Theater, I feel that the articles cover most aspects of the war very well. I love the artwork and outstanding maps that accompany the articles. And, "America's Civil War" is all about pleasing the readers. Back in 1997 I mailed in a questionnaire from "America's Civil War" after writing that my favorite issue had a great article on the famous Irish Brigade. A few months later a new article on the Irish Brigade (by the very same author) appeared in their magazine and I was very impressed by this. Bottom line: if you are a Civil War buff this magazine is just what you need!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Magazine is interesting, the subscription was bogus.
    I found the magazine to have interesting stories and history.The part I didn't care for was the way in which my subscription was sent.I received all of my years worth of issues in about three months.They sent me several back issues which was a little annoying.

    4-0 out of 5 stars More history than you can shake a bayonet at
    If you are a civil war buff this mag is for you.

    Many details on many little known facts all easy to read and a pleasure for the eyes.It manages not only to avoid repeating the same stories over and over, but it brings you fresh perspectives that the avgerage history doesn't hit.

    A great reference tool for the student who wants to know more than the avg text will tell him. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005N7VD
    Sales Rank: 811
    Subjects:  1. History    2. American History    3. Military History   


    When This Cruel War Is Over : A Novel of the Civil War
    by Thomas Fleming
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (13 October, 2002)
    list price: $7.99 -- our price: $7.99
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    Reviews (1)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Character-driven, slightly implausible, historical fiction
    Fleming is trying to write character-driven "literary" historical fiction here, and he oversteps his ability somewhat. The problems and motivations of the characters -- primarily Stapleton, the Union officer torn between two sides; his Rebel and proto-feminist "adventuress" fiancee; and the one-armed Colonel Gentry; are clearly carefully thought out. However, I found the overall premise, that of a giant Copperhead conspiracy to make the Midwest secede from the Union, improbable; though the note at the back of the book says it is historically accurate, I did not find this to ring true. Likewise, Gentry's letters, though supposedly taken from nineteenth century originals, do not sound period. Overall, the author clearly put a good deal of effort into the book, but it is a type of book which requires interesting and fresh use of language to succeed, and this is where he falls short of the mark. The writing here is mundane and somewhat flat, despite efforts at "literary" language. The book is also rather heavy on character interactions and "telling" how characters feel, while comparatively light on real action. The author makes the common error of introducing rather badly recreated historical characters from Davis to Booth. I wouldn't call the book an utter failure, but I found myself getting bored 3/4 of the way through. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0812576454
    Sales Rank: 1412929
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Historical    3. Historical - General    4. War & Military    5. Fiction / Historical   


    Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia During the War
    by Donald McCaig
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1999)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (38)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding historical novel
    I read this novel last year. This was well in advance of the recent revelations about Strom Thurmond's unacknowledged child by his family's black maid back when Strom was in his 20s and the young lady was 16. The hypocrisy of that episode brought to mind the story of Duncan and Midge. And of course there is a current film with Anthony Hopkins where he portrays a young black man who "passed" for white to advance in the USA back in the days when this nation was overly obsessed with skin pigment.
    This book can be appreciated on many levels. There really was an effort made to record the oral narratives of former slaves although by the 30s, very few were still alive or lucid enough to provide accurate histories. The author's skillful use of this actual event in the 30s to construct the storyline was impressive.
    The hardships and deprivations of the landed Virginia planter aristocracy during and after the war are vividly brought to life. The lives of the slaves and the world they inhabited are also recreated in this book as in no other I've ever read though sadly we dont have much lit dealing with the day to day reality of being a slave in the old South.
    We read this book and we find ourselves cheering Midge as she ultimately triumphs and earns a spot in "respectable society". But at what cost? Early on in the book we learn that Midge/Maggie/Marguerite ---perhaps unique among her fellow slaves--had the gift of mimicry and could "talk white". That talent--coupled with her lighter skin--- so early displayed in the novel will carry Midge along thru the rest of her life.
    I dont know if anyone has ever bought the rights to this novel and I'm sure a politically correct Hollywood would badly mangle the storyline, but the role of Maggie/Marguerite would be great for a young Halle Berry.
    One of my favorite lines is spoken by Duncan to a Confederate soldier and fellow alum of VMI: "Boy we sure did teach them Yankees a lesson back there" [referring to a battle] and the reply: "Yeah, and they keep on not learning it!"

    2-0 out of 5 stars Sally Hemmings meets Gone with the Wind.
    Well, in light of the fact that one of the fastest-growing past times in America is to beat up on the South by portraying all white Southerners as racist, conflicted, and pitiable creatures who had an insatiable appetite for "brown sugar", I'm not really suprised that people liked this book. It's well-written, but extremely unfair in its portrayal of Southerners and a little sketchy on some historic facts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting!
    Kept me totally engrossed in the interrelationships of the families of characters.They were extremely well thought out and detailed such that I felt that I knew them.Their varied backgrounds and dependencies on each other were fascinating. Also engaging was the way their relationships changed as the times and "rules" rapidly changed. Better than "Cold Mountain" (which I loved, also). This book goes on my top shelf of prized possessions. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140282653
    Sales Rank: 288211
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Historical    3. Historical - General   


    The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (Rise & Fall of the Confederate Government)
    by Jefferson Davis
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 October, 1990)
    list price: $25.95
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history & treatise
    This is a work that any one should read concerninig the details of the life and death of the Confederate nation.The principled beliefs those who founded the other American nation are presented.

    Jefferson Davis' work is thorough and detailed concerning the his belief in the constitutional basis that secession was legal and that the desire to peacefully seperate was the absolute goal of the southern states. Bear in mind the 4 states of the upper South (AR, NC, TN and VA) did not leave the Union until Lincoln called for forced cohersion of the other southern states.

    His work is also quite detailed in the military aspects of the War Between the States and his personal eyewitness of events are well written and easy to read and grasp. A great read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Economical and easily available reprint of a classic
    This is probably the most accessible reprint of Davis' book on the market today. It's well indexed and available at an economical price. My only complaint is that they got James McPherson, a confederacy-hating Marxist, to write the intro.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Constitutional Justification for Secession
    In this extremely well-written book, not only does President Jefferson Davis give critical insights on the events leading up to and including the War for Southern Independence (rare and very important in and of itself, given that he was the president of the Confederacy), but he also shows that he was a Constitutional scholar unparalleled by today's crop of so-called "experts".

    President Davis was a reluctant secessionist. In fact, he had been working on trying to come to a compromise until his state seceded, and he returned home. This book does a great deal to show the character of the former president of the Confederacy, with his perceptions of events leading up to the war itself. For instance, he did not envision himself to be the president of the Confederacy, believing that position should instead go to Albert Johnston. Instead, he had thought he would receive a commission as general.

    While there is plenty of information for virtually anyone interested in that period (there is detailed information about battles, insights by the president on figures living at the time, etc.), what truly makes the book such a fascinating read is the constitutional analysis (particularly regarding the secession question, but also going into the grievances by the Confederate states as well) found therein.

    If there is a negative to this book, it is the poorly-written introduction by leftist and Lincoln apologist McPhearson. I don't know why he was chosen to write the forward, but it is best ignored.

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is a magnum opus in Southern literature. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0306804182
    Sales Rank: 184059
    Subjects:  1. 1808-1889    2. Confederate States of America    3. Davis, Jefferson,    4. History    5. History - General History    6. History: American    7. Politics and government    8. United States - Civil War    9. Davis, Jefferson   

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