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Customer Review

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Animates far more than one year, April 18, 2011
This review is from: 1861: The Civil War Awakening (Hardcover)
Goodheart's portrait of key Americans at the opening of the Civil War has all the electric energy of Augustus Saint-Gauden's memorial to Robert Shaw and the famous Massachusetts African-American regiment. Like the sculptor, Goodheart breaths life into a remarkable number of finely drawn portraits, all in order to convey a collective movement, the stakes of which are evident on every face.

I grew up in the 1960s in what had been a border state, and 1861 sheds plenty of light beyond its one year to illuminate my own experience -- explaining, for instance, why my nonagenarian friend across the street still cherished a daguerreotype of Elmer Ellsworth and how that same Ellsworth was connected to Mose, the mythic fireman on my grandfather's slightly racy theater poster. It also casts a contemporary light on attitudes toward the Civil War that were still, in my childhood, remarkably entrenched.

Goodheart propels his narrative with speed and wit. This is a lively and enlightening read.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 8, 2011, 7:58:42 PM PDT
Happy cook says:
Another wonderful book just out last year is Do They Miss Me At Home? The Civil War letters of William McKnight, Seventh Ohio Calvary. If you enjoy learning about the war from the words of the soldiers this is a great read. It's edited by Donald C. Maness and H. Jason Combs.
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S. James
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Location: Washington DC

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