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History of the Civil War, 1861-1865

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  171 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1917, James Ford Rhodes's History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 stands among the essential works in American history. Remarkable for its scholarly research, objectivity and engrossing narrative style, this volume is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding studies — and the first unbiased history — of the Civil War.
The book presents a neut
Paperback, 528 pages
Published May 27th 1999 by Dover Publications (first published May 27th 1918)
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Jan 05, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing
James Ford Rhodes (May 1st, 1848 - January 22nd, 1927) was both an industrialist and an historian. Prior to this work, he produced seven volumes of a "History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850" (an eighth volume was published after this work), and he also produced a three volume "History of the Civil War 1861-1865". In the preface to this one-volume "History of the Civil War 1861-1865" he states that this is not an "abridgement" of his prior work, but rather was a "fresh" study.

Sep 26, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a first edition, published by Macmillan in 1917, which included the elegant fold-out maps. It turned out the maps were unnecessary as Rhodes spent almost no time on any detail of the battles. His work (438 pages) covers mostly the details of the personalities and politics of the great conflict. These he deals with in a business-like and straight-forward and extremely accurate manner. He clearly educates the reader of the political and economic conditions that lead both sides in the early ...more
John Davis
Dec 09, 2014 John Davis rated it really liked it
Written almost a hundred years ago this single volume history of the Civil War by Ohio native James Ford Rhodes is quite engaging in its straight forward narrative. Between the accounts of the major battles he gives interesting insight to the affects of the War on foreign economies, the civilian home fronts in the South and the North and other social concerns affected by the conflict.The interesting state of the monetary currency, the impressment issue in the North and South and other matters of ...more
Matthew Slaven
Dec 07, 2016 Matthew Slaven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an excellent book. I really enjoyed the balance between the history of the military events and the political, social and economic circumstances of the war. It is an extremely accessible read and gave me a good sense of the major themes that determined the war's course and outcome. I deducted one star because it suffers slightly from the common ailment of many history books in that it focuses primarily on the side that ultimately won the war.
Mike Ehlers
Oct 25, 2009 Mike Ehlers rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulitzer, civil-war
Excellent overview of the Civil War, and I can see why it won a Pulitzer. Worth reading 90 years later (makes you realize the book was written closer to the war itself than to the present). I read this online.

I was impressed with the scope of the book, covering not just the fighting, but politics, foreign interest, diplomacy, economics, business, and society as well, to name a few. But due to its nature, you sometimes notice the lack of detail in the book. It is very literally a history of the w
Michelle Streufert
Dec 01, 2014 Michelle Streufert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-own
I cannot say enough of this book. Rhodes leaves no stone unturned throughout it. The history of the civil war is not told from a biased standpoint. He lays out the facts of each side as honestly as possible and only infers his opinions to help understand the strategy/thinking of the times. His opinions are always declared so and never laid out to be mistaken with fact. His style is a brilliant form of narrative that left it hard to put down the work at times.

I try to reserve my five star rating
Jun 13, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable history of the Civil War by a Midwest industrialist. Unbiased but clearly in awe of the political leadership of the United States and the generalship of both sides, it never gets bogged down. It is wide ranging and covers a lot of the foreign policy stuff that often gets overlooked in these single volume histories. Very good.
Feb 28, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written and interesting to note that this book was written much closer to the Civil War than to today. Mr. Rhodes does have a bias in his regard to Lincoln, nicely done with Lincoln as a hero with some faults. This is a history of the war and its battles and generals, and some politics. It is a brief history, but well done.
John Mayers
Jun 10, 2013 John Mayers rated it really liked it
Very good history that does more than account the battles. Rhodes presents the other dimensions of the War including international relations/role of the British and clearly presents the precarious position of the Union until Gettysburg and Vicksburg.
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“THE GREAT factor in the destruction of slavery was the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860 by the Republican party, who had declared against the extension of slavery into the territories.” 0 likes
“uninjured and in condition to engage the Merrimac if she appeared on the morrow. But the Merrimac was too badly damaged for further operations; she had to dock for repairs and did not re-enter Hampton Roads until a month later. Captain Ericsson, wrote” 0 likes
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