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Our War Hardcover – October 24, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Once again, Mike Pride has brought the past alive with this insightful and moving reminder that the best history is more often than not a bottom-up history. We see a universe of battle through the eyes of people who might have been our great-grandfathers. This is history firing on all cylinders. --Ken Burns, Filmmaker, The Civil War

No historian has been more imaginative than Mike Pride in weaving together the intricate relationships between home front and the army. Beautifully written and brilliantly researched, compelling and important. --Peter Carmichael, Director, Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College

No historian has been more imaginative than Mike Pride in weaving together the intricate relationships between home front and the army. Beautifully written and brilliantly researched, compelling and important. --Peter Carmichael, Director, Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College

About the Author

Mike Pride is an historian and journalist. He is editor emeritus of the Concord Monitor, where he ran the newsroom for thirty years. For nine of those years, Pride served on the Pulitzer Prize board. He has co-authored several books, including My Brave Boys, a history of Colonel Edward E. Cross and the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers. Pride graduated from the University of South Florida and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in Concord, N.H., with his wife Monique.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Monitor Publishing Co.; First edition (October 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981821529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981821528
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Al C. Hutchison on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the more memorable aspects of the popular Ken Burns television series about the Civil War a few years ago was the letter that Major Sullivan Ballou wrote to his wife back home in Smithfield, R. I., just weeks before he was killed at Bull Run. By today's standards, Ballou's letter was a literary masterpiece, overflowing with eloquence and elegance. In Mike Pride's "Our War" not all the letters the soldiers sent home to their loved ones in New Hampshire rise to quite the same level of refinement, but they nevertheless remind us that the once-robust art of letter-writing has in this age of texting and emailing, become largely obsolete. Fortunately, Pride's access to these letters from the 1860s breathe fresh life into an old story. In reading them, you can't help but enlarge your appreciation of the terrible ordeal these long-ago soldiers endured in order to preserve the union. But there's much more to "Our War" for Pride, without any expression of his own opinion, also relates how the northern opposition to slavery -- an institution so important to this conflict -- was far from universal, at least in the beginning, and he reminds us that in those days, at least in New Hampshire, it was the Democrats -- including former President Franklin Pierce -- who vigorously opposed the war and the Republicans who supported it. Pride's experience as a superb newspaper editor and his love of history are put to good use in this admirable work, just as these attributes enhanced his previous books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I moved to southern New Hampshire decades ago and explored the region, I was struck by number of massive monuments to the Civil War that I found. A century and a half after that war, Mike Pride's latest civil war history, "Our War: Days and events in the Fight for the Union," does what the chiseled names in granite no longer evoke: the toll and searing impact that the war had on families in every village and town in the state.

By focusing on what individual soldiers did on particular days in the war, "Our War" escorts readers from Edward Sturtevant's first enlistment in heady days of 1861 to the final parade of the survivors, weary and forever changed, four years later. New Hampshire boys and men could be found in the Civil War's epic battles: Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Cold Mountain. But "Our War: is not a regimental account of battle maneuvers and, as happened often, tactical blunders. With exacting detail and impressive research, Pride recounts the events through the eyes of those who endured them, as expressed through letters they wrote and records they kept.

"Our War" is a masterful account of New Hampshire men struggling to come to grips with deprivation, death and uncertainty. Some of the most powerful images are outside of big battles: the drowning in the Potomac of two wives and a young child en route to meet their husbands on leave, the suffering at the prison/concentration camp at Andersonville, the mounting toll of disease in the swamps of Louisiana.

Then there were the inner dialogues over race, a theme of the book. Many soldiers from New Hampshire went to war to preserve the union not to free the slaves, and felt ambivalence toward black Americans they knew nothing about.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finished Our War - what a wonderful read! The author did a masterful job weaving the disparate tales of individuals into a compelling narrative of how the war affected and was affected by residents of one small state! My Brave Boys, the history of the Fifth NHV, written with Mark Travis, was an excellent book about one regiment. In this new book, Mike Pride has broadened his scope to many more New Hampshire folks, with good 'home front' connections to the fighting narratives. Each chapter is built around one person and illustrates some aspect of the total war. Battles are clearly described from the point of view of NH regiments but time in camp and on the home front is also worked in well. The maps were excellent - I always thought that maps were among the best learning tools I had as a high school social studies teacher and have found a couple of recent Civil War books much marred by the lack of good maps. In all, a wonderful addition to the avalanche of Civil War titles coming out in the last few years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up in NH and am familiar with most of the areas in NH spoken about in the book. The stories are poignant and moving making for very compelling reading. I am sure this book would be of great interest to civil war historians.
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