1861: The Civil War Awakening
1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents’ faith in compromise and appeasement, t...more
As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began.
1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents’ faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the
Shelby Foote tells the story of a southern infantryman who, asked why he fought, said "Because you're all down here." He fought to defend his home from destroying armies. Many, I'm sure, ran off to war because all the cool kids were doing it. Many were drafted and felt they had no c...more
The divisions over slavery were especially revealing, in that the opinions didn't divide cleanly...more
Perhaps this quote was the reason, a very long time ago, that I started to read history. Perhaps if I could understand what caused the various wars, I could spot the elements in current days that are the 'never fail' signposts, the sure warnings to change things now, or condemn ourselves to the misery and, invariably, the unintended consequences of upheaval and violence. That naive view has faded away. There will be war...more
This focuses primarily on the Union point of view; I'm not certain if that's because Goodheart doesn't find as much variation of reasoning in the Confederacy, or because he feels that the motivations of the Confederacy have been explored in other books a...more
the fault is all mine on this one. i figured that i would be reading a history if the civil war from the awakening...not just about events in 1861, and before but also 1989, the 1930's and 1963. i should have been more diligent.
it felt like, a number of...more
This book addresses the first year, 1861, and the characters and events leading to the shelling of Fort Sumter and the first combat of the war between the states.
What is very clear is that this was both a war to end the peculiar institu...more
Although I know quite a lot about the war I learned so much from this book. It had me following up about people and facts, to learn more or just view pictures to enable me to visualize the participants.
The most striking impression for me was the corrosive...more
The book opens with Major Robert Anderson's decision to move his soldiers from the vulnerable Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Future U.S. President James Garfield, then an Ohio state...more
Goodheart has not written a chronological battle history, as most war books do. He instead tries to capture the mood of the co...more
Goodheart is also clearly not trying to be unbiased; he draws a fascinating parallel early in the book between th...more
Slavery had been an issue since the founding of the republic. Beginning with the const...more