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America Goes to War: The Civil War and Its Meaning in American Culture
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America Goes to War: The Civil War and Its Meaning in American Culture

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  38 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
A fascinating study of the first modern war and its effect on American Culture.
ebook, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Wesleyan (first published February 15th 1992)
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Cindy Rinaman
Jun 21, 2016 Cindy Rinaman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reviews
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.
EC
Mar 20, 2012 EC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Scott
Jul 06, 2014 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sean Chick
Not a classic because it seems that Catton threw this together and failed to inject his superb prose. However, most of the arguments here are still popular with historians. of course it helps that Catton was a great historian.
Max Shenk
Jun 08, 2013 Max Shenk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rae
Aug 04, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Pat
Aug 26, 2010 Pat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Short book from 1959 by eminent Civil War historian. Mildly interesting; barest of introductions to topic.
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4773
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 ...more
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