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The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research [Kindle Edition]

Steven E. Woodworth
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $165.00 What's this?
Print List Price: $165.00
Kindle Price: $132.00
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Book Description

The single most important volume for anyone interested in the Civil War to own and consult. (From the foreword by James M. McPherson) The first guide to Civil War literature to appear in nearly 30 years, this book provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and informative survey and analysis of the vast body of Civil War literature. More than 40 essays, each by a specialist in a particular subfield of Civil War history, offer unmatched thoroughness and discerning assessments of each work's value. The essays cover every aspect of the war from strategy, tactics, and battles to logistics, intelligence, supply, and prisoner-of-war camps, from generals and admirals to the men in the ranks, from the Atlantic to the Far West, from fighting fronts to the home front. Some sections cover civilian leaders, the economy, and foreign policy, while others deal with the causes of war and aspects of Reconstruction, including the African-American experience during and after the war.

Breadth of topics is matched by breadth of genres covered. Essays discuss surveys of the war, general reference works, published and unpublished papers, diaries and letters, as well as the vast body of monographic literature, including books, dissertations, and articles. Genealogical sources, historical fiction, and video and audio recordings also receive attention. Students of the American Civil War will find this work an indispensable gateway and guide to the enormous body of information on America's pivotal experience.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is the third bibliography of Civil War books to be published this year, and it is the most comprehensive. Woodworth is a history professor at Toccoa Falls College, Georgia, and the author of several books and articles on the war. This massive work has 47 contributors, all distinguished scholars on the period. Some of the well-known contributors are John Marszalek, Mark Grimsley, Mark Neely, and Stephen Wise. The 47 bibliographic essays are divided into 11 subject areas (e.g., "General Secondary Sources," "Illustrative Materials," "International Relations," "Leaders, Strategy and Tactics," "The Home Front"). There is good representation of both social and military issues. Most essays range from 10 to 20 pages in length, including a bibliography at the end of the essay with full bibliographic citations. This book is intended to guide both the neophyte and the experienced Civil War scholar. The essays show trends and changes in historical interpretations and sometimes even mention areas in need of further research. A random examination of several essays shows most of the items were published since 1970. The essays cite 3,960 books, articles, dissertations, and such media as videos, television, and recordings. For example, the essay on musical and narrative recordings surveys approximately 955 titles. A random comparison of the bibliographies of 10 essays found very little duplication of titles. A large appendix provides information on 516 publishers and dealers of Civil War literature, with address and telephone number and occasionally fax and toll-free telephone number and e-mail address. The volume concludes with author, title, and subject indexes.

Guide to Civil War Books by Barbuto [RBB Mr 15 96] includes 320 current books and has outstanding annotations. The Civil War in Books by Eicher [RBB O 15 96] lists 1,100 historical and current books with critical annotations. In comparison, Woodworth's American Civil War has more entries and includes journal articles and media such as videos and recordings. It is current and extensive in its coverage. Academic, public, and Civil War collections should consider this excellent reference source for their collections.


"This book will guide the reader to works and sources that will be valuable in a particular area of study. It should serve those who are turning their attention to one of its many facets they haven't yet explored....Using this book should save students of the War, new or experienced, false starts and wasted effort, and speed them on their way to the productive examination of America's "fiery trial.,.""-Confederate Veteran

Product Details

  • File Size: 8712 KB
  • Print Length: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (December 30, 1996)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000WL8I56
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tome for the AGES. May 5, 1997
By A Customer
This is one of those books that at first glance you might say it's too expensive. But it is an investment. This is an in depth and scholarly look at multiple genres of Civil War books of all sorts, cogently described with insightful essays. It will save many readers many tedious hours of searching through OCLC and other bibliographies. (Simply for the price of a stay overnight in a downtown Marriot.)
Seriously though this distllation of years of work by a lot of heavy weight scholars will save you many hours of tedious digging.
If you cannot persuade your local university or public library to buy it then by all means do so for yourself.
In addition the book includes a listing of the book trade members, both publishers and dealers, who specialize in the Civil War.
Carter Rila
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference. March 27, 1998
By A Customer
The American Civil War must be the most written-about episode in U.S. history, with as many as 70,000 titles thus far and more appearing every day.
The sheer scope of the literature can be overwhelming. Where to start? The present work is an excellent jumping-off point, as it organizes the literature and research into eleven broad areas, then subdivides each into 47more specialized topics such as ordnance, social conditions, and economic factors, each of these then treated in a bibliographic essay by an expert on the subject.
The result is a feast for beginner and old hand alike, opening the entire literature for browsing or focused research. Woodworth and colleagues have produced a work of enduring value, which deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the Civil War.

(The "score" rating is an ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not "score" books.)
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a reference for the average Civil War Buff October 9, 1997
By A Customer
A Library reference tool
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