From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–This visually stunning atlas presents a plethora of information about the War Between the States and America in the mid-19th century. The book is divided into five chronological sections, one for each year of the war. Each section begins with an overview of the year: "1861: The Coming of War" includes text and maps delineating westward expansion, the spread of slavery, political maneuverings such as the Compromise of 1850, immigration data, population statistics, railroad maps, the election of 1860, secession, and the early battles. For each year, military, political, and social issues are discussed. Topics are presented over two to three pages with an introductory essay and captioned reproductions, archival photographs, and colorful, detailed maps that are easy to read. Battlefield maps use distinctive colors and precise markings, explained in the legend at the beginning of the book. For some of the battles, locations and positions are amplified with additional maps. A detailed chronology and glossary round out the volume. Students will find this a welcome and user-friendly addition.–Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL
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This is the latest in a long series of atlases dealing with the American Civil War.
Each of five major chapters is devoted to a single year from 1861 to 1865. In addition to every important battle, there is coverage of nonmilitary topics, such as population, the economy, transportation, elections, and the home front. For example, the chapter "1862: The Struggle for Union" has a section on the Emancipation Proclamation (with a table showing the number of slaves per county in 1862). The chapter "1863: The Turning of the Tide" has a section on Confederate trade. Each chapter covers around 60 pages. The work ends with a list of major battle sites, a chronology, a glossary, a short bibliography, and an index, which provides access to illustrations and maps as well as names.
The most stunning feature of this atlas is the full-color maps that depict not just battles but the value of farmland, the spread of slavery, the construction of railroads, and more. Approximately 40 specially commissioned three-dimensional maps show terrain and troop movements. The western campaigns, such as the invasion of New Mexico by Texas, receive full coverage even though they are not as widely known as the more famous battles in the East. Even smaller battles, such as Pleasant Hill and Mansfield, which are important to Louisiana but not well known outside the state, are included. Illustrations, many of them reproductions of period photographs, add still another dimension to this work.
What sets this atlas apart from others on the Civil War is the inclusion of the social, cultural, economic, and political facets of the war. Its scope and reasonable price recommend it to high-school, public, school, and academic libraries. Abbie Vestal Landry
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved