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Reflections Civil War
Bruce Catton
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Reflections Civil War

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  90 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
This eclectic collection of historical musings, published posthumously from educational tape recordings Catton made during his life, is must reading for Civil War buffs. The tone is conversational and the text never demanding, although it contains several deeply penetrating insights. Asking why the Civil War didn't leave irreconcilably angry feelings between the North and ...more
Paperback, 0 pages
Published November 1st 1982 by Berkley Books (first published 1981)
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Tom Schulte
After a brisk overview that is a mash-up for talks the Michigan Civil War chronicler gave, the book becomes special and unique starting with the reproduced drawings of Federal Army engineer John Geyser. Geyser's drawing are stark, haunting, and deeply personal. Make sure to look for Catton's remarks on each picture which make up a final chapter while the pictures themselves are gathered in the middle and spring up without herald. Toward the end of the book, Catton treats us to a military history ...more
Apr 07, 2015 Iain rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-acw
An interesting collection of Catton's thoughts captured on audio tape and penned after his death. It's not his best work, technically, it's not his work period. But it's a decent read on a variety of aspects of the ACW.
Jefferson Coombs
This book is really a collection of thoughts from Mr. Catton. Thought it was interesting and worth the read.
Mar 03, 2016 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I have read Bruce Catton's Reflections on the Civil War. It is no less wonderful this time than when I read it in 1987. Clearly in a volume this slim (230ish pages of text) a reader is never going to encounter a comprehensive history of the war, but you can get a wonderful sense of the nature of the war. Catton is insightful and intimate. I almost imagine myself sitting in the office of an enthusiastic and gifted history professor discussing the war.
A posthumous assembly of some of Bruce Catton's essays, focusing alternately on the big picture of what the war was truly about and on the small world of the individual soldiers, who had more in common with their enemies in the other side's uniform than with their own high commanders or the civilians of their own countries. Thoughtful, simultaneously inspirational and somber.
Jan C
Jan 17, 2009 Jan C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: civil war buffs
Shelves: civil-war
Catton's last work shows an excellent view on the totality of the Civil War. Includes drawings from a soldier's sketch pad and shows us what camp life was like.

In his forward, Catton reminds us that he grew up in a small town in Michigan at a time when there were still veterans of the Civil War around.
Erik Graff
Aug 11, 2013 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Catton fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Having read both Catton's two Civil War trilogies and his two volume study of General Grant with great enjoyment, I picked up this post-humous collection of reflections expecting a bit of a refresher, both as regards the war and as regards the gracious spirit of the author. I wasn't disappointed.
Mar 02, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, in my opinion, the greatest single-volume work about the Civil War ever written. It shows not only the unrivaled knowledge Catton had over the material, but also the heart of why the war was fought in the first place. Highly, highly recommended.
Aug 28, 2009 Dr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war
The best introduction to the subject that exists.
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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
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