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War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 (The Littlefield History of the Civil War Era) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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''With all the narrative grace, original scholarship, and equal grasp of both big picture and telling detail, Civil War historian nonpareil James McPherson has provided his admirers with another authoritative entry in his roster of essential books. McPherson never argues that the Union navy won the Civil War, but readers will argue that no Civil War library will ever be complete without this volume.'' --Harold Holzer, award-winning author and chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation
''McPherson displays his massive knowledge of the Civil War, this time specifically concerning the naval battles . . . A solid contribution to Civil War scholarship.'' --Kirkus Reviews
''James McPherson's many admirers in the Civil War community will be thrilled that he has turned his keen eye and eloquent pen to the naval war. In this new, concise history of the war at sea, McPherson not only tells an important story well, he shows how the Union navy, with only five percent of Union military assets, had a disproportionate impact on the war.'' --Craig L. Symonds, award-winning author of Lincoln and His Admirals
''Wonderfully written and researched . . . Balanced, objective, and highly readable.'' --Howard Jones, University of Alabama
Wonderfully written and researched. . . . Balanced, objective, and highly readable.--Howard Jones, University of Alabama
James McPherson's many admirers in the Civil War community will be thrilled that he has turned his keen eye and eloquent pen to the naval war. In this new, concise history of the war at sea, McPherson not only tells an important story well, he shows how the Union Navy, with only five percent of Union military assets, had a disproportionate impact on the war.--Craig L. Symonds, author of Lincoln and His Admirals
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The focus of the book is on the Union Navy in that it was far larger than the Confederate Navy and ultimately more successful. Thus, McPerson begins by quoting Abraham Lincoln in 1863 on the navy's role in the Vicksburg campaign. "Nor must Uncle Sam's Web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea,the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks." In McPherson's book, the reader follows "Uncle Sam's Web-feet" in the oceans, rivers, swamps, and bayous.
McPherson also praises the Confederate navy for its ingenuity and spirit and for doing much with little. Without the industrial resources of the North, the Confederacy led in the development of ironclad ships, torpedoes, and submarines.In its Secretary of the Navy, Steven Mallory, the Confederacy had a gifted and innovative leader whom McPherson obviously admires.
In a relatively short book McPherson explores naval battles, large and small, on the sea and on the rivers.Read more ›
A person could forget that both sides spent considerable resources on their navy. This is a good introduction to naval operations during the war.
As expected, an introduction will not contain details and nuances. Rather an introduction will cover the major considerations, personalities, operations and events.
The author provides everything that we could reasonably expect in an introduction to Civil War Naval history.
He manages to convey this in an interesting, intelligent prose that is as easy to read as it is enjoyable.
Organization is a combination of theater, operations or years, which sounds confusing, but it works well.
Depending on the subject, the reader can expect a history that is stand-alone or integrated into the war. This is not all "Damn the torpedoes".
There is a good deal of technological, political and social considerations.
We see the movement from wooded ships to ironclads, the racially mixed crews and how politics influences operations.
With all of this, we still find time for the battles. Readers will not be disappointed with the military coverage.
The author captures all major and many smaller actions and firmly places them in the overall structure of the war.
We see how the result of past operations affects planning.
The University of North Carolina Press always presents a professional book.
This is no exception with a full set of maps, illustrations, endnotes, bibliography and index.
While a few reviewers have criticized the author for focusing too much on Union Naval aspects, I felt the book is well balanced, considering the Confederate strategy was dominated by the use of static fortresses and shore batteries against Union warships. Those actions where Confederate ships were involved are effectively covered, as well as Confederate blockade running and commerce raiding, and Confederate efforts to build and acquire war ships at home and abroad. The author is even-handed in highlighting the failures and successes on both sides, and simply presents the facts for the reader to discern. He is not responsible for the outcome of engagements or the war.
This is a professional and polished book from the way it is structured to the way it is written. One of the best Civil War-era books I have read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Historian James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the fine Battle Cry of Freedom (1988), here provides an excellent summary of Civil War naval warfare. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Anson Cassel Mills
Fantastic book on the naval war. Lots of good information and reads very well.Published 1 month ago by Drake
I would highly recommend this work to those looking for an introduction to the roles played by the respective navies in the Civil War. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Greg C.
Great book. Love the way James McPherson presents the facts and information. Historically correct in his presentation of the events.Published 4 months ago by R. MACPHERSON
I read this book because I had really enjoyed "The Battle Cry of Freedom" by the same author. This book, while thoroughly researched, is not quite as engaging. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bob Reckman
Excellent research material for my historical novel about the Civil War.Published 9 months ago by Kirk B.