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Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  980 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The newest installment in the New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies; The Civil War is a pulse-quickening account of the deadliest war in American history

From the birth of the Republican Party to the Confederacy's first convention, the Underground Railroad to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Henry Holt & Company (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  980 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Susan Krafcheck
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would have liked Bill for a history teacher!
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, civil-war
I'm going to go straight up and say this; i got bored with this book. It's like a really boring history book. I'm not impressed. I had to make myself finish this... ...more
Carolyn Osborne
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love reading about history and especially the Civil War. I knew many of the facts presented in this book but Bill O'Reilly has several things that were new to me. For example, I didn't know that John Wilkes Booth was present at the hanging of John Brown. Anyone who enjoys the Civil War will enjoy this book. However it just scratched the surface on a very complicated period in our history.
Diann Young
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really great information for both sides of the war. The author does a good job of trying to present the side of the North and the South in a neutral manner. This is not how I learned it in school. Great book! Recommend for those who want a good overview of the Civil War.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Wasn't too long and had great illustrations. ...more
Barry L Waldman
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To the point

As is true of all of his historical works, O'Reilly's, Civil War ,
is fast paced and chock fill of interesting anecdotes, some well known but others rarely seen. Enjoyable reading.
John Russo
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating well written story of the civil war told through individual stories of the main characters of the war. I found it very informative and learned more about the civil war than I recall from history classes in school. Along with the legend and lies story of the revolutionary war, these two books tell the story about the two principle events in our country’s history. A very worth while book to read accompanied by many photographs and lithographs.

The book carries Bill O’Reillys name but Da
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this one on a road trip. It was hard to follow along with all the people mentioned, and we got a little bored about 3/4 of the way through. But it was still interesting to hear all the details and events about that period.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great refresher on the history of the Civil War and renewed my interest in it. Well written, I'm really enjoying this series and now need to go back and read The Patriots. ...more
Yvon Maurice
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been entitled “A guidebook to the battles of the American Civil War and the Generals who fought them”. As such, it is quite a good book and I've learned a lot from it. But if you want to know about the other, equally important, aspects of this bloody conflict (e.g. the political and socio-economic framework, as well as the short and long-term impacts that it had on American society), you will have to complement your reading with other books. Generally speaking, the book is w ...more
Kirk Moser
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Legends and Lies: The Civil War because of the details it included about main characters/events of the Civil War and the many illustrations that are included in the book. The book begins with the lead up to the Civil War and explains the state that the country was at this time. It explains the different opinions and viewpoints that people had about slavery.
One of the many stories that are included in this book was about Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The Gettysburg Address is o
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good, well written, concise synopsis of the Civil War. I particularly enjoyed the author's deft framing of each chapter around an iconic personality, while still maintaining a logical order to the historical events depicted. I have not read a Civil War history structured this way, (and I've read plenty of Civil War history) and so I liked that aspect of it.

What I don't understand is this:

Why is Bill O'Reilly getting top billing, his name and photo above the actual author's? ALL HE DID
Elwin Kline
A great recap of and very informative edition/refresher of the events of Civil War.

This is the third (and final I believe) read for me within the Legends and Lies series by Bill O'Reilly, and I must say the least enjoyable of them all. The Real West was phenomenal, one of my favorite history books for sure. Patriots was very good as well, not quite as good as the The Real West, but very entertaining and educational at the same time, an excellent combination. However, this Civil War rendition wa
BT Philips
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bill O'Reilly yet again has commissioned the making of another great historical work. Fisher did a nice job with this book. He is just as good as O'Reilly at conveying the significance of events in the book. I can now say I clearly understand the role of the Civil War in American history. It played more of a role in shaping the nation than any other war. That is something I appreciate much more after reading Legends and Lies: The Civil War.

Tracing from the divisive issue of Southern rights over
Skylar Newbury
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This may have been the best Civil War book I have read. This is by far not the first Civil War book I have read, but this Civil War book just hit me differently somehow.

The pages in this book are gorgeous, and so is the inside cover (It's a map with all of the major Civil War battles). Alot of the photos in the book have also been colorized from their original black and white look. There is alot of information about the war itself as well.

It doesn't matter if you are a long time Civil War lover
Theresa Jehlik
Using primary sources (speeches, newspaper articles, presidential documents, etc.), Fisher explores the leading figures and major battles of the Civil War. Striving to show both sides of any event or issue, Fisher reveals a nation just as divided and raucous as today's America. His research depicts the politicians, generals, spies, and other well-known figures as real humans who don't always think and act as they're portrayed in the history books. This work is an interesting look at a conflict t ...more
Kristine Stoehner
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detailed history book

If only the books I read in college had so much information? At times this was a difficult but worthwhile book to read....MANY names of people and places I'd never heard of before. I often was confused on who was fighting for. the north and who was fighting for the south so I started highlighting passages so I could keeps my thoughts straight.....

I recommend thus book for those who want to understand the truth about our history and not just gloss over the facts....but be war
Christine D
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
As with other 'Legends and Lies' and 'Killing' books, O'Reilly and his co writers write history in a way that is easy to read. Even for those who are not a fan of history, his books lay it all out nicely and smoothly.
This book was thorough and well pretty all encompassing considering the length of the book (they hit the important stuff but also throw in a bunch of other relevant points. which is impressive considering the book is less than four hundred pages).
Having read this, I feel I can keep
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very thoroughly researched and written book about the primary characters and the parts they played in the US civil war. Lots of pictures and anecdotes that make the story much more understandable and memorable.

This topic and Abraham Lincoln are particular favorites of mine so I enjoy reading about everything related. I also like the way Bill O'Reilly treats his characters and topics. One of the few people in history that I would dearly love to have known and had time to study up close and pers
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is 100% Civil War, start to finish. What is illuminating is the attention to the context of the times, such as political attitudes, voter impact, or individual anecdotes. So, it is not just a progression from battle to battle. Frequent use of illustrations from that time period help keep the material interesting. After so many Civil War books and history lessons, one would think you know it all. NOT SO! I do enjoy Civil War history, but this book would be very readable even for a genera ...more
Adam Fehr
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lot of history is very superficial, including main facts and dates. But this book was the way I like to discover what happened in the past. It delves deep into a specific time period and includes many little known facts of the Civil War. Also the author tells you when certain events are fuzzy and nobody knows exactly what happened. For me, this book was a character study. From John Wilkes Booth to Robert E. Lee, the author really helps the reader understand these people better, their motivatio ...more
David Christensen
I read this book, in conjunction with reading a couple of the Jeff Schaara books on the civil war, in an effort to refresh my knowledge of the civil war and all its leaders and turning points, in advance of a trip through some more of the Civil War sites in my travel. I especially liked the use of informative maps and timelines in this Legends and Lies book. The heavy use of journalism of the times as illustrations in the book help to underscore the emotions of the public in the north and the so ...more
Jamie Gogocha
This was fine. I might have liked it more had my expectations not been so high after the Old West book I read a couple years ago. There was a lot of detail and information, but most of it was stuff I've read in text books. Where the Old West one was "Hey, want to hear some really cool stuff about these legendary figures?" this one was "Here's a bunch of pretty common information, but there's some of those fun, obscure facts sprinkled in. So look sharp."

This is a solid choice if you enjoy histor
Carrol j Oliphint
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Perhaps, after having read so many of Bill O'Reilly's books, I have come to expect certain similarities. While,as always, this book is obviously well researched, it was extremely difficult to read. There are so many inserts of maps, photographs, and assorted explanations placed inappropriately in the middle of paragraphs and even sentences that Rob give attention to them is to lose continuity. I was disappointed.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
A lot of this book seems a rehash of KILLING LINCOLN, and the title LEGEND AND LIES isn't exactly would be better referred to as a summary of the Civil War from Lincoln's perspective. And it was a good summary, but the lies and legends were embedded in the retelling, not exactly clear. So, I guess it was not what I was expecting, but still a very good, concise overview of the Civil War. ...more
Brenda Hicks
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this on on a recent 16 hour drive to Memphis, TN. I realized a couple of things...I know a lot about the Civil War, and second, I don't seem to tire of listening to its stories and events. It was lovely, to connect all the places and stories I have seen together in this excellent chronology of events stretching from the war's roots in the movements of John Brown all the way to Sherman's March through the south. A terrific summary. I would expect nothing less from this series. ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Out of the three companion volumes for the Legends and Lies series this one is the driest. There are interesting parts of it, but it's mostly battles and figures. But I might be biased because this book completes my reading of O'Reilly's historical oeuvre (Killing series and Legends and Lies series) and I'm a little burnt out on American history for the time being. Back to reading something a bit lighter. ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a phenomenal account of the Civil War. I grew up in Atlanta and have a copy of the screenplay to GWTW so you would think I would have enjoyed history more in school. I did not! So this was a ‘catch up’ for me and an explanation of missing pieces connecting me to many names I’ve heard all my life and with three important figures of history who are carved on a mountain across the street from where I grew up! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this history lesson!!!
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great book from Bill O'Reilly. I really enjoy how the book is broken up into different sections/themes and yet still has a chronological flow to it. All kinds of interesting anecdotes on the side make for a very fun read, although this is one of the saddest chapters in the American story. With today's revisionist history, it's important that our children read books like this. I know mine are. ...more
Cheryl Kloda
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading , Bill O' Reilly's book, "Legends and Lies", was like having a very interesting History Lesson. What I liked about his book is that a lot of details are given about what caused the Civil War. In addition, Battle Strategies are discussed in details. As a reader, I learned more about the generals both in the North and in the South. While reading, "Legends and Lies", I realized there is no such thing as a "Gentlemen's War". War is really hell on earth! Both the North and the South had a lot ...more
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Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

David Fisher is the author of more than twenty New York Times bestsellers and coauthor of Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies series. His work has also appeared in most major magazines and many newspapers. He lives in New York with his wife and two sons.

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