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The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection 1st Edition
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William Gienapp was a professor of history at Harvard. He passed away in 2003 at the far too young age of 59. Considered to be an extremely gifted historian of the 19th century, Gienapp wrote several books about historical events in that century. He was a highly regarded professor who had the great fortune to teach a course “Baseball and the American Society, 1840-Present” which was received quite well by Harvard students. This collection of primary sources was a work he undertook that grew from his teaching methods.
I first encountered this book via Eric Foner’s EdX courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction. It was part of Foner’s required readings and he referred to the documents and the book constantly in his lectures. I decided to pick up the book even though I had read most of the documents because I wanted to be able to access the documents at any time. So far, I’ve used the book on multiple occasions which has justified its purchase easily. Another thing I like about the book is that it shows how Gienapp selected documents for inclusion. He chose the relevant ones that students should be familiar with.Read more ›
This collection could be helpful for college students or researchers who would like a handy set of documents to use as sources because William Gienapp has included background information at the start of each document to help place the writings in context, but those doing research may find fault because the collection is not indexed.
The editor, William E. Gienapp, author of This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln, The Civil War Diary of Gideon
Welles, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography, and The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856, etc is a historian and editor with strong Northern leanings as evidenced by his selection of readings in this work, and his previous books, so the reader is cautioned to seek additional documentary sources in order to obtain a more balanced perspective.
you did not know what to settle on first. So you dig in on at a time, jumping from one end of the table to the other, with each selection better than the other. When you finish you do not know, which was best, they are all interesting..
There are letters from soldiers at the front, some from their wives, newspapers advocating the Confederate point of view and others with the Yankees opinion. There are letters from the cultured officer and from the little schooled private plus recollections from former slaves.
At the end, you will be better satisfied with your understanding of the war. It is a book I will treasure.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My wife an I both read Angels of the Underground. We think that this book is great for history buffs. Read morePublished 4 months ago by jfcolt
I am a high school teacher and this book is really great for primary sources. I have only had the book for about two months and it is a well loved teaching tool already. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carrie L. Lynch
William Gienapp's book contains many examples of primary source documents all beautifully set out to illustrate the experiences of Northern and Southern soldiers as well as showing... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jeffrey Belman
This is a wonderful compendium of antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction era sources. Perfect for anyone studying this era as well as those with a curiosity for the subject.Published 18 months ago by obituary mambo
Great Resource. Be sure you want the document collection and not the textbook. I mistakenly ordered this when I needed the textbook for a graduate class but was very pleasantly... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Eric Thieleman
Content-wise this book deserves 4-5 stars. I found it hard to read though because the print was very small.Published 20 months ago by Jeffrey Dunning