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Tarnished Victory: Finishing Lincoln's War

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  12 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
A critical look at the the fourth year of Lincoln's administration and the conclusion of the author's four-volume re-examination of the Civil War.
ebook, 512 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin (first published January 1st 2011)
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Steven Peterson
"Tarnished Victory" is a work with a provocative thesis: Lincoln's vision for the war and its aftermath came up short. Many analyses speak to the virtues of Lincoln's approach, including reunion of North and South, the end of slavery, and so on. But, so the author, William Marvel, says (page xiii): ". . .works [on the Civil War] frequently overlook that much of the heroism was wasted by military ineptitude and political perfidy; they usually ignore that the restored Union was no longer a volunta ...more
Robin Friedman
Dec 02, 2016 Robin Friedman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Revisionist Civil War History

William Marvel's "Tarnished Victory: Finishing Lincoln's War" is the fourth and final volume of his chronological history of the Civil War, each of which examines a 13-month period in the conflict. Thus, this volume begins in 1864, when Ulysess Grant becomes the commander of all the Union armies and concludes in May, 1865, with the Grand Review of the victorious Union armies in Washington, D.C. An important Epilogue takes a brief look at Reconstruction. Besides thi
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Sky Thibedeau
A history of the last year of the Civil War. I'm disappointed a bit because the title seemed to indicate it would delve into why the Victory of the North was tarnished and had to be revisited 90 years later but the book barely touches that aspect of things in the final chapters.

What we have is the very bloody events that made the American Civil War the first Modern Total War. Grant's war of attrition against Lee in the East and Sherman's march to the Sea taking up most of the volume.

Marvel does
...more
Ron Nurmi
I was disappointed with this book on the last year of the Civil War. The author (that I could find) never explains why victory was tarnished. It appears he views the end of slavery not worth the cost. I find his view that the Federal government's victory were the result of overwhelming numbers, and he seems to discount the skill of both soldiers and officers.

The book does have many personal views of the combatants on both sides as they discussed their views.

It is my opinion the war could have e
...more
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William Marvel grew up on Davis Hill in South Conway, where he still lives. He has been writing about nineteenth-century American history for more than three decades.
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