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This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library) Paperback – January 3, 2012


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This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library) + A Stillness at Appomattox (Army of the Potomac, Vol. 3)
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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Civil War Library
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Stated 1st Edition edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307947084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307947086
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A classic work. . . . The best single-volume treatment of the Civil War. . . . A book to own and remember.”
Chicago Sun-Times
 
“This book is to Civil War history what War and Peace is to fiction. . . . An outstanding reading experience.”
Los Angeles Times
 
“Fresh and distinctive. . . . Reading it is sheer joy.”
The New York Times
 
“Bruce Catton is doing the same job on the Civil War that Carl Sandburg did for Lincoln. . . . A magnificent account which reads like a modern Iliad.”
The Miami Herald
 
“Catton writes as though he owned the War. It could not be in better hands.”
The Little Rock Arkansas Gazette
 
“Racing, exciting narrative. . . . A great book that reflects the full measure of Catton’s rare combination of talent as a writer and historian.”
The Kansas City Star
 
“The story of the Union in arms comes to life as in no other book on the war as a whole. . . . It is a as a narrative that this book achieves its distinction. From the opening chapter on to the final wonderful picture this story marches along, powerfully, breathlessly but with assurance. . . . A moving and exciting book.”
—Henry Steele Commager, New York Herald Tribune

About the Author

Bruce Catton was a journalist and historian of the American Civil War. He won a Pulitzer Prize for history in 1954 for A Stillness at Appomattox, his study of the final campaign of the war in Virginia. He died in 1978.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
0%
3 star
8%
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1 star
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See all 24 customer reviews
This is the best single volume history of the Civil War.
ScipioColumbus
Catton makes history very accessible through narrative story-telling and anecdotes.
Isaac Wash
In a few years I'll read it again, enjoying and learning more each time through.
Joseph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bridger on September 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"This Hallowed Ground" repays the reader's attention with a rich "history as literature" quality of prose. It also captures brilliantly the connectivity between the political and military spheres and demonstrates how the objectives of both sides subtley changed during the course of the conflict. This book is compulsory reading for all who treasure the proper use of the English language.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott Cromar on April 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Catton's "This Hallowed Ground" is an excellent single volume history of the Civil War. It was a pleasure to read. The history, while not detailed, is correct and insightfully told.

If you are looking for a detailed history, this is not the book for you. But if you are looking for a single volume history of the Civil War that hits all the most important episodes and ideas, this is a good book for you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ScipioColumbus on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the best single volume history of the Civil War. Imminently readable and incredibly insightful. Catton's prose roll off the page, with single sentences stimulating penetrating thoughts about the purposes and accomplishements of this catastrophic event. The actors and events literally come to life through Catton's magical touch with the written word. His treatment of the forces underlying the Civil War and how they influenced people and events is remarkable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Agudath on May 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As usual, Bruce Catton brings life to the story of the Civil War. This isn't a history of the tactics or strategy but rather a history of the perseverence of the human spirit in the worst of times. It's educational as well as entertaining and only Catton can breath life into the ordinary men caught in extraordinary circumstances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D.S.Thurlow TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
"This Hallowed Ground" is historian Bruce Catton's highly readable single volume history of the Civil War. Cattom was an experienced journalist and historian who brought considerable narrative skill to the writing of this book, still a superb read despite having been first published in 1955.

There are libraries full of more recent and more detailed scholarship for serious students of the Civil War. For the general reader, there is Catton and his treatment of the conflict as an epic event in the nation's history, fought by real human being struggling with events that would change the nation forever. Catton was old enough to have known Civil War veterans in his youth, and in this book, he has captured an authentic sense of how they viewed the conflict, at a very human scale. Catton has a knack for nuance, for characterization, and for the telling vignette, and this book is full of them, as the story travels the long road from Fort Sumter to Appomattox Court House. Towering over the narrative are key figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. There are a few maps to guide the reader through the campaigns.

"This Hallowed Ground" is very highly recommended as an introduction to the Civil War for the general reader.
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Format: Paperback
It was via an 8th grade school trip, by bus, from a suburb of Pittsburgh, that I first saw Gettysburg, and climbed Little Round Top, and played around the boulders of Devil's Den, and looked across the field up at Cemetery Ridge, and barely could comprehend what had occurred there less than a century earlier. Not much latter, on the centennial of the battle that took place there, I paid 50 cents for a paperback copy of this book - the first serious history book I was to read - in an attempt to learn more about that "old stuff" that is history. I found a bewildering array of names, of people and places, coupled with descriptions of military and political considerations. Sure there were a number of "takeaways": McClellan wouldn't fight, Lee was a pretty clever fellow, there were a lot of dead people, a race called "the Negros" were freed from slavery, and in the end, "the good guys" "won," and as a matter of geography, I was one of them.

A half century later, I am still in the vertical, and have had my personal experiences with those "military and political considerations," have seen a few dead bodies, read my share of history books, and developed an understanding for why those Negros did not live in that suburb of Pittsburgh. I even know what a battalion is. Clearly a re-read was long overdue, and I found it deeply impressive how Bruce Catton was able to depict, analyze and balance all that "old stuff," and demonstrate its relevance to shaping the nation in which I still live.

Catton commences his account with an 1856 speech given by Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the Senate floor. The next day, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks would repeatedly bring a cane down on Sumner's head, almost killing him, for the "libel" against Brooks' home state.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Natalie P Punt on July 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Provides a factual account of the civil war in a passionate and scholarly manner. Catton's prose is admirable as well. However his biases are apparent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael M. Tarbell on October 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not as in depth as many Civil War books that I have read, but that is part of the appeal. Cotton really tries to show you the war not just through the eyes of the Officers and Administration, but also as the soldier and the American public viewed the War. I would highly recommend this to anyone at any level of knowledge about the Civil War.
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This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library)
This item: This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library)
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