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Civil War Sketch Book: Drawings from the Battlefront Hardcover – May 14, 2012
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“...Informatively presenting the artists and the circumstances of their sketches, Katz and Virga help us envision the Civil War as contemporaries would have visualized it through the magazines they read.” (Booklist)
“These accounts, along with the sketches themselves and the narrative framework the authors provide, give this handsome volume―also a landmark in the study of pictorial journalism―a special immediacy that will appeal to Civil War buffs and many others. Most highly recommended.” (Library Journal)
About the Author
Vincent Virga has authored or coauthored seven major picture books, including, most recently, Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations. He lives in New York City and in County Mayo, Ireland.
Alan Brinkley is professor of history at Columbia University and author of numerous books, including The End of Reform.
Top Customer Reviews
Two days after the charter incorporating MIT was signed in April 1861, Confederate forces attacked a military installation in South Carolina. It was the first in a series of battles that would last four bloody years and decide the fate of a nation. Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Bull Run and Gettysburg are now the stuff of history, names that to this day evoke deep wounds -- physical, psychological, moral -- in the very fabric of America, many of which are still open. But there was a time when citizens on all sides of the war followed these names for breaking news, which often took the form of written and graphical reports in printed newspapers.
Today, it is almost impossible to imagine the difficulties that the journalists and graphical reporters back then had to overcome to bring the citizenry fresh news from the frontlines of the Civil War. There was a time when the shock and awe of war was not broadcast in real time to the world, and when being embedded with the troops meant actually standing in the line of fire. Capturing battle in an image required more than the click of a button, and sending that image back to the editors took more than an attachment in an email.
As a tribute to the courageous and talented artists that risked their lives to capture these images in charcoal and watercolor, Harry Katz and Vincent Virga assembled the Civil War Sketch Book: Drawings from the Battlefront.Read more ›
My ONLY gripe is not with the book, but with the way it was packaged for shipment. The book was not properly secured, and as a result, it shifted during transport, causing one corner to be very slightly bent. Most people would never even notice such minor damage, but I tend to be meticulous in the care and preservation of my books, so I was a little miffed that it did not arrive in pristine condition. Still, for the price, I would have bought this book even with the miniscule damage to one corner... so I quickly got over it.
At the time of this writing, I see the price has gone up to $5.47, but even at the new price, this book is an amazing bargain for anyone interested in the Civil War, etchings, the history of journalism, war correspondence, American history or fine art.
In an era before every pre-teen with a cell phone could snap photos newspapers employed men known as "Special Artists" to help bring the action home to readers. Papers such as Frank Leslie's Illustrated News and Harper's Weekly would employ artists such as Frank Vizitelly, Edwin Forbes, Winslow Homer, Thomas Nast, Arthur Lumley and many others to bring the sights of war to their readers. For those who expected this to be a quick and easy war the scenes produced by the Specials proved beyond a doubt that there was going to be a large amount of blood spilled before all was said and done.
Many times you will find these prints having been removed from the newspapers available for sale in antique shops and flea markets. What separates this book however is that in the majority of instances you are seeing reproduction of the original work and not the newspaper. Included you will find works from the more famous battles such as Antietam and Gettysburg but also lesser known fights such as Fair Oaks.
For those interested in the portrayal of blacks whether enslaved, newly emancipated, or free there are works here to amaze you.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for my dad, who is very picky, but he loves it! Great drawings and history. InterestingPublished on December 10, 2013 by Elizabeth M. Karle
Fascinating look at how the Civil War was covered. Lots of really interesting sketches along with well-written commentary. Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Jamie Katz
Very impressive book with hundreds of highly detailed images of the conflict. Informational drawings too. Read morePublished on October 27, 2013 by H. J. F. Kleijssen
Illustrations by famous artists ; this book is full of fabulous art, written beautifully, --a work of art
I love this book
These Civil War artists captured the activity and drama of the war better than any of the often reproduced photographs.Published on February 8, 2013 by Dale H
A treasure trove of first person impressions of the war between the states. Purchased as a gift and couldn't help reading it myself.Published on January 4, 2013 by David J Lacki