Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “America Goes to War: The Civil War and Its Meaning in American Culture” as Want to Read:
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Jun 21, 2016 Cindy Rinaman rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Now I know why I've heard Bruce Catton's name so much through the decades. He was born in 1899, fought in WWI after his first months at college (he never went back), and died in the midst of the Cold War - one of the most affecting passages in this short book is his reminiscence of old Civil War veterans from his childhood. Catton's writing shows a genius for capturing the spirit of his subjects and speaking with self-confident authority about them. We sit at his feet to learn of our ancestors.
I found this short book, consisting of 6 independent essays, a good start to learning more about the Civil War. Of course 6 essays is nowhere near enough to address all of the complexities, but it gave me a taste of some of the broad issues and introduced some of the players names. As a bonus I could read 1 essay each day while at lunch and not feel like I was having to play catch up every time.
This is the first of a handful of very short books I took out of the library for casual reading over the 4th of July weekend. Catton's theme here is that modern war destroys pre-war society; the victors may think they can return to pre-war life, but they can't, it's gone.
Written over 50 years ago, but just as important now as ever. Catton puts the Civil War in perspective and explains why it's important to us to understand its lessons and relevance today. Cautionary in some ways. Recommended.
This wonderful little book was written by one of the finest Civil War historians around. He examines anew some of the reasons we went to war and then looks at how the war has meaning for our culture today. A fine introduction to the conflict.
Catton was known as a narrative historian who specialized in popular histories that emphasized the colorful characters and vignettes of history, in addition to the simple dates, facts, and analysis. His works, although well-researched, were generally not presented in a rigorous academic style, supported by footnotes. In the long line of Civil War historians, Catton is arguably the most prolific an ...moreMore about Bruce Catton...