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April 1865: The Month That Saved America (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 15, 2006
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Things might have been rather different, too. "What emerges from the panorama of April 1865 is that the whole of our national history could have been altered but for a few decisions, a quirk of fate, a sudden shift in luck." When Lee abandoned Richmond, for instance, his soldiers rendezvoused at a nearby town called Amelia Court House. There, the general expected to find boxcars full of food for his hungry troops. But "a mere administrative mix-up" left his army empty-handed and may have limited Lee's options in the days to come. Or what if Lee had decided not to surrender at all, but to turn his resourceful army into an outfit of guerrilla fighters who would harass federal officials? National reconciliation might have become impossible as the whole South turned into a region plagued with violence and terrorism. For the Union, "there would be no real rest, no real respite, no true amity, nor, for that matter, any real sense of victory--only an amorphous state of neither war nor peace, raging like a low-level fever." One of Lee's officers actually proposed this scenario to his commander in those final hours; America is fortunate Lee didn't choose this path.
Winik is an exceptionally good storyteller. April 1865 is full of memorable images and you-are-there writing. Readers will come away with a new appreciation for that momentous month and a sharpened understanding of why and how the Civil War was fought. Let it be said plainly: April 1865 is a magnificent work, surely the best book on the Civil War to be published in some time. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The section on the Booth plot revealed facts I'd forgotton or didn't know (the attack also included Seward, Secretary of State and was as devastating in its time as the attack on the WTC.)
The insights about Lee are fascinating. Lincoln held Lee in great esteem and Lee's gentleman-soldier qualities probably saved the United States from a protracted struggle and ultimate destruction. If Lee and his men had gone guerilla, as had been suggested to him, we might never have survived the Civil War and would have been easy pickings for European powers. Lee literally determined the course of history during that fateful month.
If you are a history fan, you will of course be interested in reading this fresh view on a well-trodden subject. If you aren't normally a history fan, but have recently gotten more interested in American history and patriotic subjects due to the recent attacks on the US, you will find valuable insight into our national character and background in this book. Highly recommended.
My overall view is that Winik did an exceptional amount of research outside his area of specialty and did the bulk of it very well. The book is both enjoyable and important. Much so because of his professional assessment of the unstable state of our nation in April of 1865. For that reason it transcends small issues such as the ones raised above. At the same time, the fact that such issues can be raised, suggests to me that while his range and scope are impressive, other matters of nuance and context might also have been missed or misstated as well. His attempt to make his end notes more 'readable' make it difficult verify some of his assertions.
This remains an excellant book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting sets of scenarios after Lee's surrender and Lincoln's death. The United Staes could have easily become a group of North American countries . A fun readPublished 8 days ago by p
super book.....Winik is a pleasure to read and really takes one to that time in history with great detail. Read morePublished 19 days ago by martin a. levin, dds.
I learned a great deal about the civil war and the perils that could have been a consequence of it. It tells the story clearly, both of the generals and Lincoln. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elaine
This is amuse read for everyone - so much could have gone wrong in that year - but smart heads prevailed - excellently written - have read so much on this - but have learned so... Read morePublished 2 months ago by ken
A plethora has been written about the Civil War but this book reveals the many details that came together to bring it to an end and leave our Nation intact. Read morePublished 2 months ago by E. Walden