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Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! Hardcover – March 18, 2002
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A surprisingly easy read because Rable never assumes the reader already knows about army life.--Washington Post
A very balanced, readable, and thought-provoking account. . . . The author never loses sight of the common soldier--the evocative text is filled with first-person descriptions of life in the camp, on the march, in battle, or in field hospitals. It captures the bravery, ineptitude, and heartache of soldiers and generals alike.--Blue & Gray Magazine
Masterful . . . . By successfully synthesizing recent scholarship and plowing new ground as well, this book takes its place as the best volume published thus far in the Littlefield History of the Civil War Era.--American Historical Review
Rable has written a new kind of battle history that melds many different types of history into one, all-inclusive narrative. Rable is one of the most versatile Civil War historians in the field today.--Civil War History
Rable provides an excellent account of the events leading up to the battle. . . . A very enjoyable read. Well researched, written, illustrated, and with good maps, it is a rich tapestry of a sometimes overlooked campaign.--Confederate Veteran
The very best study of the horrific bloodbath known as the Battle of Fredericksburg.--The Lone Star Book Review
Every major Civil War battle deserves at least one big book. . . . Rable has produced the Battle of Fredericksburg's big book. . . . His study of Fredericksburg surely represents a microcosm of the entire Civil War. . . . Rable's study of the Battle of Fredericksburg achieves what few other battle histories accomplish: those looking for a battle-oriented account will not be disappointed and those who are more interested in the social and political factors surrounding the battle also will be pleased.--Georgia Historical Quarterly
Skillfully done. . . . The pace of the story is fast . . . much like the battle itself. . . . One of the most interesting renditions of any battle.--Civil War News
Rable's recounting of the campaign deserves special notice, now more than ever, because it conveys much more than simply a tale of combat. . . . What Rable succeeds in doing, in spectacular fashion, is to offer us an intensely human account of a single campaign. . . . He has drawn upon the large literature on this subject and grounded it in a specific context. . . . The result is the most detailed study to date about a soldier's experience grounded in a single battle.--H-Civil War
Exhaustively researched and very well written, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! is the definitive history of the battle. Buffs and scholars who may wish to discount Fredericksburg's significance will have to acknowledge the strong arguments Rable presents. The book deserves to be in everyone's Civil War library.--Journal of American History
[This book] sets a new standard for Civil War historians who write about military campaigns. George C. Rable provides not just an account of a horrific battle, but how it changed the course of the war for both sides and the men who fought in its ranks.--Civil War Book Review
An expansive narrative that includes a wide range of voices across half a decade.--Journal of Illinois History
An excellent book: extensively researched, clearly written, judiciously interpreted. From war front to home front, from newspaper office to the halls of Congress, Rable fuses the 'old' and 'new' military histories to relate more about what Fredericksburg meant than we have ever known before.--Journal of Southern History
Rable's fine volume will be the standard study of Fredericksburg for a long time to come.--Journal of Military History
This remarkable study is a monumental achievement in modern scholarship on the American Civil War. Until now, the decisive turn of events at Fredericksburg, a disastrous setback for the Union cause and a glorious triumph for Lee's army and the Confederacy, has received only sporadic and limited scrutiny from historians. In a sweeping narrative riddled with illuminating details, previously unknown information, and extremely valuable analysis, Rable has succeeded brilliantly in giving Fredericksburg the attention it deserves.--T. Michael Parrish, author of Richard Taylor: Soldier Prince of Dixie
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Rable paints a fascinating picture of life in the warring armies immediately before and after Fredericksburg, describing in intimate detail the horrors, struggles, and mundanity of army life. Concentrating mainly on the Army of the Potomac, Rable shows that in late 1862 victory was anything but certain for the North, and after this monumental battle it seemed as if the United States itself was in danger of breaking into not just two but many different countries. The presentation of life in camp, on the march, and in battle gives the reader an in-depth look at the foot soldier and his struggle to survive not only on the battlefield but in conditions in which we would not let animals exist today.
Meticulously and painstakingly researched, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! is a fantastic read not only for the serious Civil War historian but for the casual reader as well. Rable's prose is as good or better than anything McPherson or Oates can offer, and flows from chapter to chapter effortlessly. I highly recommend this work as an excellent addition to any Civil War library.