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Undying Glory: The Story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Library Binding – October, 1991
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7-12-- As does the recent movie Glory , this book details the history of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, a black regiment that served with valor and distinction in the Civil War. The account begins with the formation of the unit in 1863 and follows it throughout the remainder of the war. Cox clearly documents the difficulties that black soldiers faced: pay unequal to that of whites, severe prejudice, and an unwillingness on the part of many in power to allow them to engage in actual battle. The narrative is replete with quotations from diaries, letters, newspapers, and the comments of people present at the events described. It is unquestionably a well-researched book: the bibliography consists of almost four full pages of citations from books and scholarly articles. The problem is that there are almost too many facts. They tumble over one another, as though Cox could not bring himself to leave anything out. And indeed, much of the information is fascinating. Because of the density of material, however, this is not an easy book to read. Also, the narrative does not flow smoothly because of the numerous quotations and frequent digressions to supply necessary background. The book does provide a valuable and well-documented treatment of a topic that has been too long neglected. It deserves a place in any collection that needs material on American history or black studies. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A moving account of the formation and valiant record of the first black regiment (a story also told in the film Glory), from the firing on Fort Sumter to an 1887 reunion. Cox, a prize-winning journalist, has woven an impressive amount of research into his straightforward narrative; battle details put readers on the scene with compelling immediacy, while they also learn how these men proved their competence and dignity against incredible odds--including not only their struggles with the Confederacy (which at first planned to treat black prisoners of war as mutinous slaves) but also the cruel effects of racism on their own side (e.g., the devastating hardship inflicted on soldiers' families by the government's failure to honor its promise to give them the same pay as whites). There are frequent, effective quotes from participants and from luminaries, including Charlotte Forten and Frederick Douglass, whose son was a member of the 54th. A distinguished presentation of the historical record. Bibliography of sources; b&w photos and index not seen. (Nonfiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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