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This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War
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This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  477 ratings  ·  34 reviews
First published in 1955, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton’s classic account of the Civil War simultaneously captures the dramatic scope and intimate experience of that epic struggle in one brilliant volume.

Covering events from the prelude of the conflict to the death of Lincoln, Catton blends a gripping narrative with deep, yet unassuming, scholarship to brin
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Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1955)
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Ebookwormy
Nov 05, 2008 Ebookwormy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ebookwormy by: Carp 500
This book is a historical account of the Civil War. With pages of notes, a bibliography and an index, it is a good read with lots more to explore. Written by Bruce Catton, who has published many books on the topic, it has the feeling of a substantial work. The account is heavy on battle strategy and documentation, with some insight into politics and even less into the societal impact of the War. Historical account being the privelage of the victors, it is told from a Union perspective, but inclu ...more
Joe Banks
Bruce Catton's 1956 work provides everything that a newcomer to the history of the American Civil War could possibly want from a single volume. It covering the major campaigns of the war from a Union perspective, its portraits of the key generals - McClellan, Grant, Jackson and, particularly, Sherman and Lee - are well-drawn and insightful; but it also does an excellent job of showing the lives and hardships of the ordinary soldiers.

At the book's heart is a moving lyricism. The author always fin
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David
A great single volume book on the Civil War. It obviously can't get too bogged down in detail given the restriction on size. Bruce Catton is able to describe the major battles without delving into the minutiae of military movements but still describe the general plan. My knowledge of the geography of the area was weak so having a good atlas helped understand the different movements of the armies. I loved the author's prose style. Very readable and elegant.

Steven Peterson
An excellent introduction to the Civil War. Bruce Catton's book focuses on the Union side, but he presents the War in even-handed terms. Exquisitely written. His character sketches are terrific, allowing the reader to get a sense of players in the war with a few paragraphs. This holds up pretty well, even though written over five decades ago.
Dr.
Best single volume history of the war that I have yet to read. For anyone who wants to have the chain of events laid out before them for the first time or just brush up on them after too long detached from the big picture this would be perfect. It didn't seem to become too overwhelming at any point either because it's only the union side of the war so the story telling cancels out half the characters and goings on of the war outright. Making for a much more cohesive presentation than most. Obvio ...more
Dale
An Amazing One Volume History of the Civil War

When I was a freshman in college, way back in 1986 I happened upon a Bruce Catton (1899-1978) book in the bookstore while buying all of my textbooks for my first semester. I picked it up just because I was in a mood to be educated with something that looked more interesting and less daunting than my economics and math textbooks. My fascination with all things Civil War began with that book (I sold it in a fit of stupidity a couple of years later). I
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Brad Lucht
One of the better civil war books I have read. Released in 1955.

Not as dry as Shelby Foote, Bruce Catton is a more poetic writer, lending more emotion to the description of events that occurred from 1861-1865.

On the burning of Atlanta, Catton writes, "The solders went to their with zest. By now they understood industrial warfare, they could equate wholesale destruction with a blow at the enemy's war potential, and anyway it was fun to wreck everything."

"The Federals were not moving out to find a
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P. Aaron Potter
Before the publication of "The Killer Angels," I would have easily declared this the best book of history, on any topic, ever written. Now I'm a bit torn, but only a bit. Really, Catton's book and Shaara's are so very differentin scope and tone that they augment, rather than compete. They complete one another.

Whereas Killer Angels focuses on the story of a war as played out in the experiences of one man, here Catton provides an eagle-like overview of the period. Here not just north or south, bu
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Scott L.
Absolutely the best single volume treatment of the war that I have ever read. Catton takes no sides, but in a matter-of-fact way describes all aspects of the war. He treats all fronts equally, and even delves into some of the more unknown aspects and stories of the war. He is very descriptive, yet not overly so; this book is a fast read, and only took me a long time to read because I was determined to enjoy the pleasure of reading it. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in an over- ...more
Tom
Different treatment of the main characters Grant, Lee, Lincoln. It is not historical fiction, but I am enjoying it. I may read more of his books.

I finished it today and kind of hated for it to end. According to other reviews it is a review of the CW from the morthern perspective. I did determine this ater while. However it was not slanted and seemed objective. I feel like I am gettingt to know Lee, Grant and Lincoln better.
The author does explain diferent perspectives of what was happening, so i
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Brendan Steinhauser
This narrative of the American Civil War reads like a hybrid novel/journalist's account of the war. It's a great overview for the reader that wants to know more about the events of the war, without getting too much into the details of the military tactics and the specific battles. I would recommend this book to the general reader of American history, but if you want more details on particular battles or people, I'd suggest reading other more specific books.
Steve
This is the first book about the American Civil War that I ever read, and to say it sparked a lifelong enthusiasm for the subject is an understatement. Very pro-Union and pro-Lincoln, but then, so are most books about the subject.

A very accessible, very interesting study. If you only ever read one narrative of the war, it should be this one.
Erik Graff
Aug 11, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Having read Catton's Centennial History of the Civil War years before and planning to read his more focused Army of the Potomac trilogy, I read this, his account of the war from the perspective of the Union, as a quick refresher. As ever, it was an engaging delight which led me beyond the trilogy to his two volume biography of General U.S. Grant.
Eric
A good, one volume history of the Civil war. Bruce Catton writes with imagery and a large scale perspective. For those who know more specifics about particular battles, they may be disappointed that some perspective or individual event is not referenced, but if you want a big picture of the Civil war, I would recommend this book.
Chris Gager
I think this is the correct book we were assigned to read over one of my prep school summers. I found it to be mostly boring but I do recall Lincoln's frustration with McClellan. That came through very well. The politics and careerism of it all. Date read is a guess.
Ian Major
I found this riveting from the beginning. History, professional history, told like novel. The style reminded me of Thomas Carlyle's 'The French Revolution' in some respects - exciting account and apt Biblical allusions. One for my re-read shelf.
Chuck
Sep 20, 2011 Chuck rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: civil war buffs
Recommended to Chuck by: history professor from Yale
One of the best books written about the civil war, published in 1955. A must read for history or civil war buffs. Not much romance but great history, insight, and philosophy on that period. Don't know why I waited so long to read it.
George
Excellent! Great general history with the focus on the battles and the war itself….said to be best single volume on the War Between the States; after reading, hard to believe otherwise.
Thomas Walsh
In this one volume, Catton capsulizes the war. If you prefer a more detailed view, he also wrote a trilogy of works on the war. He is part of that 50s Renaissance of non-fiction writers.
Helen Faith
Excellently written and, I've do doubt, well researched, but I was unable to finish the book. I have a weak stomach (and attention span) for war, whether fiction or non.
Bob Collins
Well written account of the Civil War in one volume, with sensitivity to the underlying issues or the war and the affect of the war on the northern soldiers.
Fredrick Danysh
Told from the Union perspective, this work gives the veiwpoint of the common soldier and well as observing patterns in the American Civil War.
MVV
I read this in Junior Highschool and immediatly fell in love with Civil War history. A "must read" for anyone who wants to study this era in history.
Avis Black
This book is practically everyone's basic introduction to the Civil War. Catton is an excellent and stirring writer. Highly recommended.
James Debruicker
Solid book on the Civil War. The discussions on military tactics are particularly entertaining.
Linda
This classic account of the Civil War captures the war's dramatic scope in just one volume.
Tom Tallmadge
Reading Bruce Catton's many Civil War books is what peaked my interest in this era, of our history.
Michelle
Beautifully written Civil War history. I loved it.
Albert "Mac"
A wonderfully detailed history of the Civil War. Excellent.
Dick
If you want to know about the Civil War, Catton is the guy.
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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
More about Bruce Catton...
A Stillness at Appomattox The Coming Fury Mr. Lincoln's Army Terrible Swift Sword: The Centennial History of the Civil War Series, Volume 2 Never Call Retreat

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