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William Marvel provides a history of Andersonville Prison and conditions within it based on diaries, Union and Confederate government documents, and letters.
The Great Task Remaining is a striking, often poignant portrait of people balancing their own values--rather than ours--to determine whether the horrors attending Mr. Lincoln's war were worth bearing in order to achieve his ultimate goals. As 1863 unfolds, we see the disaster at Chancellorsville, the battle of Gettysburg, and the end of the siege of Vicksburg. Then, astonishingly, the Confederacy springs vigorously back to life after the Union triumphs of the summer, setting the stage for Lincoln's now famous speech on the Pennsylvania battlefield. Without abandoning the underlying sympathy for Lincoln, Marvel makes a convincing argument for the Gettysburg Address as being less of a paean to liberty than an appeal to stay the course in the face of rampant antiwar sentiment. The Great Task Remaining offers a provocative history of a dramatic year--a year that saw victory and defeat, doubt and riot--as well as a compelling story of a people who clung to the promise of a much-longed-for end.
A revealing look at Lincoln's actions in 1862--and a nation in the midst of warLincoln's Darkest Year offers a gripping narrative of 1862, a pivotal year in our country's Civil War. Marvel continues the story he began in Mr. Lincoln Goes to War, which focused on Lincoln's first year in office, again relying on recently unearthed primary sources and little-known accounts to paint a picture of this critical year in newfound detail. Lincoln's Darkest Year highlights not just the actions but also the deeper motivations of the major figures, including General Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, George McClellan, Stonewall Jackson, and, most notably, Lincoln himself. As the action darts from the White House to the battlefields and back, Marvel sheds new light on the hardships endured by everyday citizens and the substantial and sustained public opposition to the war.The second in a planned four-part series on the Civil War, and the first major reexamination in over fifty years, Lincoln's Darkest Year stands apart from traditional assumptions and narratives about the early years of the Civil War. Marvel combines fluid prose and scholarship with the skills of an investigative historical detective to unearth the true story of our nation's greatest crisis.
"The Civil War's master historical detective" reveals how Lincoln blundered into war.Stephen Sears has called William Marvel "the Civil War's master historical detective," and in this groundbreaking book Marvel investigates the mystery of how the war began, reconsidering the big question: Was it inevitable? He vividly recreates President Lincoln's first year in office, from his inauguration through the rising crisis of secession and the first several months of the war. Drawing on original sources and examining previously overlooked factors, Marvel leads the reader inexorably to the conclusion that Lincoln not only missed opportunities to avoid war but actually fanned the flames--and often acted unconstitutionally in prosecuting the war once it had begun. The story unfolds with Marvel's keen eye for the telling detail, on the battlefield as well as in the White House.This is revisionist history at its best, as Marvel recreates the true story of our nation's greatest crisis--not sparing anyone, even Abraham Lincoln.
A master Civil War historian re-creates the final year of our nation's greatest crisis. With Tarnished Victory William Marvel concludes his sweeping four-part series--this final volume beginning with the Virginia and Atlanta campaigns in May 1864 and closing with the final surrender of Confederate forces in June 1865. In the course of that year the war grows ever more deadly, the home front is stripped to fill the armies, and the economy is crippled by debt and inflation, while the stubborn survival of the Confederacy seriously undermines support for Lincoln's war. In the end, it seems that Lincoln's early critics, who played such a pivotal role at the start of the series, are proven correct. Victory did require massive bloodshed and complete conquest of the South. It also required decades of occupation to cement the achievements of 1865, and the failure of Lincoln's political heirs to carry through with that occupation squandered the most commendable of those achievements, ultimately making it a tarnished victory. Marvel, called the "Civil War's master historical detective" by Stephen Sears, has unearthed provocative details and rich stories long buried beneath a century of accumulated distortion and misinterpretation to create revisionist history at its best.
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