Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Civil War: A Concise History” as Want to Read:
The Civil War: A Concise History
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Civil War: A Concise History

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  11 reviews
One hundred and fifty years after the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter, the Civil War still captures the American imagination, and its reverberations can still be felt throughout America's social and political landscape. Louis P. Masur's The Civil War: A Concise History offers a masterful and eminently readable overview of the war's multiple causes and catastrophic ef ...more
Hardcover, 118 pages
Published February 10th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 13th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Civil War, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Civil War

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 133)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Karen
Well written - much communicated in such a concise book. Interesting to me was the delicate balancing act between states rights, the balance of power and slavery as the root causes for the war. Per Masur, the South felt it must defend itself and they viewed the North as the aggressors, even though it was the South which shot the first shot and it was the South that advocated disunion and set up its own separate government. Masur clearly exposes the true basis for this southern 'defense' - the So ...more
J.M. Wasko
Dear scholars, please use this as a model for your next book about the history of the American Civil War. I decided to read Masur's book because I was impressed that a recent two-week institute for teachers assigned it as a reading. There was something ridiculously efficient about this book's sketch of the entirety of the Civil War and its recent scholarship, and I was curious if I could learn anything from it.

The first lesson was a given. This book is an obvious candidate for teaching the Ameri
...more
Ellen
[Got this book in the mail from a mystery giver for my birthday last year. Still trying to figure that one out. :D]

4 stars, not because I agreed with everything he said (spoiler alert: he softened Reconstruction--aaarrrgh), but because I really am impressed at how well he accomplished writing an overview of The War in just 94 pages. Wouldn't have thought it possible to do as good a job as he did. Of course he left out some things (have to say, I would've put in at least a sentence about the Batt
...more
Charles Phillips
Masur is a well-respected cultural historian whose breadth of interests in American Studies is really impressive. This book is as advertised; it is a concise history of the ACW.

What the title does not tell you is that the book has a nicely done cultural history slant. It recounts, but it does not focus all it attention, on the battles in the ACW. Context is important to Masur, as it is to all cultural historians. He attempts, and usually succeeds, in placing each battle in its proper place amid
...more
Susan Olesen
Bravo. In only 94 pages, the author manages to explain the entire war with clarity and sympathy that educates and doesn't bore the reader. I finally understand the civil war conflict. I even wrote the author to congratulate him.

Excellent. Where the hell was this book in school???
Jo
This book was exactly as advertised, a concise (95 pages!) history of the civil war. I couldn't believe someone managed to lay out the motivations, major events and important quotes in that little space. I (and everyone else in my high school) read Masur's earlier book (1831: Year of Eclipse), and I really didn't like it. I found it boring and the premise contrived so I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did.

Masur focuses on the cultural and political aspects of the war, and only barel
...more
Gary
Excellent overview of the Civil War period. Minimal details about any given battle, but more focus on the politics, from pre to post war periods. Very clearly written.
Sasha
Not bad. Obviously a book of such a concise nature would gloss over what I'm sure are a lot of pertinent details about the Civil War, but for the most part this was a great, concise way to learn what happened on the surface. I've also read another of Masur's books for another course, and he is an engaging-enough author that, like his other book, I never felt stifled by the dryness of the topic.
Dianne
Jun 09, 2011 Dianne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in American history
Recommended to Dianne by: magazine article
Shelves: history
This book was exactly as stated, a concise history. I appreciated, however, that the book spent less time on battles and battle strategy and more time on the cultural and political events that led to war as well as how the perception of the war changed over time and success/failure in battle.
Holly
For a class. Read it all in one day. A bit dry, but it hits everything important and throws in some quotes along the way.
David
David added it
Aug 26, 2015
Jagadeesh
Jagadeesh marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2015
Thomas
Thomas marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2015
John
John marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Meredith
Meredith marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Gmoney.gold
Gmoney.gold marked it as to-read
May 13, 2015
Jean
Jean is currently reading it
Apr 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
1831: Year of Eclipse The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph That Shocked America Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen's American Vision Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World Series

Share This Book