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The Battle of Nashville Hardcover – October 12, 2010

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–Background, strategies, and key individuals involved in the 1864 battle of Nashville come to life in this engaging piece of history. Starting on the eve of the fighting, the narrative then shifts back to examine the complex series of events leading to that moment, outlining the causes of the Civil War, key developments, and major figures. When the battle description finally begins, readers have a full understanding of the issues and conflicts that impacted the results so strongly. The history is fascinating, though occasionally oversimplified: it's implied, for example, that the Underground Railroad formed in response to the Dred Scott decision. Compelling personalities such as Lincoln, Grant, and especially General George H. Thomas are effectively developed throughout the historical account. The conflict between Grant and Thomas over when to attack is riveting, as Thomas's confidence and patience prove ultimately successful. Battle scenes are vivid, capturing the chaos and emotion involved, and military strategies, such as the innovative use of cavalry, are explained clearly. Plentiful illustrations from the period, including many portraits and several dramatic two-page paintings, help bring the period to life. Sources for all quotations are provided, though occasional assumptions are made about emotions and motivations. The author's admiration for Thomas shines throughout, concluding with the postscript assertion that he “was the greatest patriot-soldier America had ever produced.” This informative title fills in a subject gap, since most Civil War books for youth provide only cursory mention of Thomas and Nashville.–Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Broader in scope than its title implies, this book offers an alternate perspective on the Civil War and its generals. Bobrick, who wrote Master of War: The Life of General George H. Thomas (2009) for adults, now offers young people an account of the Civil War emphasizing General Thomas and the Battle of Nashville, which he calls “the most important battle of the American Civil War.” Knowledgeable and passionate about his subject, Bobrick is quite critical of Generals Grant and Sherman, but he unstintingly praises Thomas, calling his death “a national calamity” and saying, “With the single exception of George Washington, George H. Thomas was the greatest patriot-soldier America had ever produced.” Black-and-white and sepia-and-white reproductions of period photos, drawing, paintings, and prints illustrate the text. The book’s extensive back matter includes source notes for quotes, a bibliography, and the full texts of Lincoln’s two inaugural addresses. Although most Civil War books for young people blandly present the same widely held views, this one expresses a different point of view and does so with conviction. Grades 7-9. --Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375848878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375848872
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fred Schildkamp on July 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was shipped quickly and I have no problem with that. However the book is more of a rewrite of history leading to the battle. The causes of the Civil War, etc. Not all what I had hoped for but for the price I will settle with it. I thought it was more about the who and how the battle was fought not all the events in the Civil War that led to the battle.
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By Ugly Dudley on April 17, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the author that General George "Rock of Chickamauga" Thomas is often overlooked in history classes. He saved the Union Army at the Battle of Chickamauga from total anhilation and thoroughly destroyed John Hood's Southern Army from entering Ohio and runnig the Confederates' version of the "Sherman's March". Having said that, Bobrick's praise of this man is akin to a combination of George Washington, Napoleon, and a Jedi Knight. Also, while elevating Thomas's stature to essentially a deity, Mr. Bobrick seems to harbor a rather deep resentment of Grant, Sherman, and to some degree, Lincoln. Grant and Sherman are portrayed as back-stabbing, unfit commanders who gained their ranks based solely on their connections through families and their Illinois backgrounds, and not by their merits on battlefields. Grant, according to the book, was a butcher who willingly, unnecessarily, and without remorse, sacrificed thousands of his own men to kill a fraction of enemy troops. Sherman's scorched earth strategy was described as a cowardly and particularly cruel way of conducting the war. While I have always held George Thomas in high regard, I do not agree with the author's extremely biased views on Grant and Sherman. For example, Sherman was able to destroy South's ability to wage a war more effectively than anyone with minimal casualties on human lives for both sides. Depending on how you look at the half-filled glass, he could be argued to be a monster or a hero that saved many lives by expediting the war's conclusion.

The book does provide good overall history of major battles, as brief as they may be. But I would not recommend this book as an introductory book to Civil War. Many key battles won by other generals, such as Vicksburg and Gettysburg, are trivialized, with the author taking a swipe at those generals at every opportunity.
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By Waterloo on September 2, 2015
Format: Hardcover
The book and well designed and attractive. It's not an in depth study of the Battle of Nashville, but rather 3/4 of the book is a basic history of the Civil War and 1/4 devoted to Gen. Thomas and a high level overview of the Battle of Nashville. This is a great book for a young reader, or someone interested in a general overview of the Civil War and Gen. Thomas' role in the war and the action at Nashville. I would not recommend the book for the serious student of the tactics and strategies of the battle.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bewildered Mom on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a serious study of the Civil War and of the personalities who shaped it. It gives readers ages ten and up a fascinating look at the heroes of American history.

Though it looks a bit daunting, like a high school text, the book is written with a sensitivity and insight that is more like poetry. Instead of a mere recitation of facts, Bobrick reveals the deeply personal side of battle, revealing the humanity of the generals and soldiers who are embroiled in war. Adding to the drama are extraordinary photographs: the Capitol dome under construction; a horse-drawn hospital carriage gathering up the wounded; and Union soldiers sitting astride a 300-pounder Parrott rifle, it's muzzle shattered.

Accessible enough for middle readers to read alone, and exciting when read aloud together, "Battle of Nashville" is one to bookmark.
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