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Publisher's Summary

James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict.  

Abraham Lincoln wondered whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government. Jefferson Davis felt forced to take up arms to guarantee his states rights. McPherson merges the words of these men and other political luminaries, housewives, and soldiers from both armies with his own concise analysis of the war to create a story as compelling as any novel.  

Battle Cry of Freedom vividly traces how a new nation was forged when a war both sides were sure would amount to little dragged for four years and cost more American lives than all other wars combined. Narrator Jonathan Davis powerful reading brings to life the many voices of the Civil War.

©2003 James Macpherson (P)2020 Recorded Books, Inc.

What listeners say about Battle Cry of Freedom

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Book

This is a excellent book on the causes and politics of the Civil War. Great detail is covered in the prewar causes and political maneuvering that led up to hostilities. This same kind of detail goes into the two sides dealing with European powers as well as competing factions on their own sides. This is not a book of battles as it only gives a broad overview of the major battles and campaigns. Instead it focuses more on how those battles effected the feeling of the people back home, responses from the politicians, and the commanding generals standing with the troops and people.

12 people found this helpful

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Too liberal for true historians

Too liberal for true historians. The clear and obvious liberal bias was evident as if the author couldn’t help himself.

10 people found this helpful

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The Civil War Like You’ve Never Learned Before

This book is so much more than, which General commanded which army in which location, and who won the battle.

This is a very comprehensive approach to this matter, which incorporates 19 Century societal norms, feelings, and notions, as well as the political machinations of the time. Also, you get a very good background on why the war was almost inevitable, and why and how the major players of the civil war got to where they were.

I don’t often say this, but this is the best history book I’ve ever read.

8 people found this helpful

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beautiful

I've been studying the American civil war for the past 3 years and this book has put all together in an extremely cohesive informative way. I can't hardly wait for the next one in the series

6 people found this helpful

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Outstanding history

Beautifully written and expertly detailed, this is the single best history of the war, its causes and its effects. For those fascinated by military battles, there may be more comprehensive renderings but for the political history of the war, there is no better.

4 people found this helpful

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Narrative a bit lacking but very informative

It was actually a very good book and although it didn’t have as good a narrative as Shelby Foote’s series, or contain as much detail towards military operations, it contained much more information and discussion on the culture, economics, and societal impact of the war. I understand why it is used as the base literature for study of the War of the Rebellion. Final rating is 8/10. Would recommend to anyone looking for a comprehensive one-volume book on the war

4 people found this helpful

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Superb Big Picture of the Era

The appeal of this narrative is that it paints a cohesive picture of the United States in the preceding decades before the war that helps to explain its causes. Before this, the war, in my limited knowledge, started with Dredd Scott and Harper's Ferry. Now I understand the tension created by the Missouri Compromise that led to the Pottawatomie Massacre that led to the Lawrence Massacre. The Mexican-American war the role of Manifest Destiny in the expansion or curtailment of slavery is made clear. I did not understand the significance of the Whig party and its relationship to the Republican Party.

If you're interested in the history of the time but have American primary and secondary school knowledge, this is a great book. There is enough storytelling to bring characters like Grant, Jackson, Johnston, McClellan, and Sherman alive. Enough battle facts to satisfy you if you aren't studying military tactics. And enough quotes and excerpts from letters and diary entries to personalize those affected by the war, North and South.

3 people found this helpful

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The Civil War Explained In Depth

I picked up this book when I visited the Gettysburg Battlefield last year. It was designated as a “Staff Recommendation”. I’m thrilled I bought it. There was so much detail, not just about the battles, and the military personalities that played key roles in the Civil War, but it also provided detailed accounts of the social, economic and political landscape leading up to the war. This is a must-read for anyone looking to understand what led to the Civil War and the impacts of the war even today.

2 people found this helpful

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A magnum opus concerning the Civil War

For any interested in the modern United States they must understand the civil war.

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional narrative

Was looking for a narrative of the civil war that was not too deep in the weeds but also not a slim volume overlooking key events. This fits the bill. Great audio production as well.

2 people found this helpful