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am 3. Dezember 2016
Dieses Buch ist eines der besten, die je über amerikanische Geschichte und Politik geschrieben wurde. Für die Südstaaten beginnt auch heute noch die Geschichtsschreibung nicht mit Christi Geburt, sondern mit dem Beginne des Bürgerkrieges. Die mentale Spaltung zwischen dem Süden und den Yankees ist auch heute noch aktuell und äußert present. McPherson ist ein eminenter Historiker und ein wunderbarer Schriftsteller. Wer, wie ich, lange in den Süd- und Nordstaaten gelebt hat, findet in diesem Buch alle Erklärungen für den heutigen Zustand der amerikanischen Politik. Wenn Trump dieses Buch lesen würde, würde er sich und die Amerikaner auch besser verstehen.
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am 18. Juli 2000
make it this one.
I read this book after having read two other books on the Battle of Gettysburg. I found that I wanted to know more about the circumstances surrounding that battle, the situation of the two armies, the generals, the politicians, and the state of the economies of the two sides engaged. But I was daunted by the plethora of information on the American Civil War. I had no desire to immerse myself in some three or four volume 2000-page work because, aside from believing myself unable to keep everything in perspective and not to get bogged down in minutiae, I reasoned that plain laziness and attention span problems would keep me from ever finishing anything like that. Plus I had to admit that it was the battles that interested me the most, and I despaired of having to read a separate book or two on each of the dozens of battles that are considered "major" during those four years.
Then I found this book: a single volume that encompasses the entire conflict from its military and political antecedents to the economic and sociological ingredients that forced the Union to enter into a war that would change forever the face of democracy. And this book did not give short shrift to the battles. To the contrary, the battles remain central and are accompanied by helpful maps.
I took a chance on this book and now that I have finished it I have to say that it is all that I could have hoped for.
Battle Cry of Freedom does what would appear to be the impossible: it includes virtually everything of consequence about the war and continues to hold the reader's interest. There are periods, especially when delving into some of the voting and politicking, the changes of party affiliations, voting data, etc., that get somewhat tedious. But if the reader is willing to work his way through these chapters he finds that he will come out the wiser, and that the next chapter, perhaps one on the next military campaign, will be better understood in itself because the larger context has been appreciated.
How James McPherson (no relation to the Union general of that name) was able to do this is nothing short of astonishing, a kind of scholarly and artistic legerdemain that allows so much to be packed into so short a space. If you want to know as much as your head can comfortably hold, and you do not want to read an entire shelf of your local library to do it, then this book is a must. My wife and I read large portions of this book out loud to one another (heartily recommended) and had our own discussions about it. We also read, concurrently, a shorter book, "Decisive Battles of the Civil War" as a companion piece to get another concise overview of the military engagements themselves.
McPherson has a definite Northern bias, but he is always fair about giving the other side its time in court. It is, after all, the North that won, and our country is what it is today because of that. The South's many disadvantages were built into its culture and ideology. Nonetheless, we intend to read Shelby Foote's three volumes to get a Southern perspective. I would not have had the gumption to go further if McPerson had not made the whole terrible period more understandable in the first place.
Do not be afraid to take the plunge.
EKW
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am 9. Februar 1998
Great book. McPherson shows why the narrative approach to writing history is far superior to the analysis of minutia that academic historians are putting out currently. This is the best single volume of the Civil War. If you read this first and then Shelby Foote's three volume treatment you will have read the very best in civil war writing.
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am 10. März 1998
Renowned author and historian James M. McPherson surely took upon himself no easy task when writing this comprehensive one-volume history of the Civil War, but his effort richly paid off. The bestselling "Battle Cry of Freedom" earned Mr. McPherson a Pulitzer Prize for good reason; it is an outstanding contribution to the ambitious "Oxford History of the United States" series and to Civil War historiography as a whole. In subtitling this volume "The Civil War Era", the author makes it clear that his treatment of the War Between the States goes beyond the military conflict which began at Fort Sumter and ended at Appomattox. The first 30% of the book discusses in detail the various economic, social, and political conflicts which were already dividing our nation long before the secession crisis of 1860-1861; these conflicts reappear later in the book as they affected the conduct of the war on both sides. In addition to thorough descriptions of military operations, the reader is treated to poignant, yet balanced, character studies of the war's major players plus contemporary accounts from both the battle and home fronts. For the prospective Civil War enthusiast, I consider "Battle Cry of Freedom" a most appropriate book for starters.
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am 15. Juli 2000
In 'Battle Cry of Freedom' James M. McPherson has written an account of the American Civil War that is stunning and simply outstanding. His grasp of the subject matter is so complete that if I had to suggest just one Civil War history to a friend this book would be it.
The strength of this book is in the balanced approach it presents. There are plenty of books that are either pro-confederate and pro-union. We all have an internal bias and thus particular books will appeal at particular times. If you want a biased stance then 'Battle Cry' is not the one for you. There is no moralising in this book, no great ethical debates that must by their nature get in the way of the subject. It is both refreshing and attractive that McPherson presents the facts in a clear and objective manner. However, 'Battle Cry' is no dusty acedemic text, rather there is an intense passion within its pages that will make you stay up late at night wanting to read more.
McPherson has attempted and indeed suceeded in presenting so much more than an account of the battles of the war - he skillfully merges politics, the social and the economical and of course military history. The result is an overview that sweeps the reader before it. What I found particularly useful was the account of events leading up to the war. The chapters exploring the nature of the American people and their country before the war offered a detailed grounding from which the actual conflict could be viewed and thus analysed.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book to you. As a piece of historical writing it is without doubt excellent, but as a piece of Civil War historical writing it is of the highest order.
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am 1. Mai 2000
James McPherson's BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM is, simply put, the greatest single volume of Civil War history yet written. The Civil War is a fascinating subject -- on average, a book a day has been published on the subject since the end of the war 135 years ago. The brilliance of McPherson's book is that he manages to provide a vision of the Civil War which both Northerners and Southerners can agree upon. By comparison, Shelby Foote's Civil War narrative is too much a southerner's view of the war to be considered truly objective. While an impressive feat, it is three volumes of narrative, instead of one comprehensive volume of history, like McPherson's book is. Battle Cry of Freedom is well written, well researched, and well deserves the Pulitzer Prize that it won in 1989. No stone is left unturned, and it is perhaps the closest anyone has yet come to a definitive book about such a controversial topic.
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am 19. Dezember 2001
Literatur über militärische Sachverhalte zu schreiben ist für Laien (wie man an der aktuellen Presse leicht nachvollziehen kann) schwierig. Über eine Aera vor rund 140 Jahren zu schreiben wohl auch.
Englischsprachige Literatur über ein so komplexes militärgeschichtliches Thema zu übersetzen ist dann also zumindest ein ambitioniertes Unterfangen.
In diesem Falle wohl zu ambitioniert.
Daher empfielt es sich das englischsprachige Original zu lesen, auch wenn aufgrund der excellenten Mischung politischer, wirtschaftlicher und militärischer Aspekte im Wörterbuch fast genauso lange geblättert wird wie im "Balttle cry" an sich.
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am 31. März 2000
"Battle Cry of Freedom" is a skillfully researched and masterfully written historical treatment of the American Civil War, which ranks (alongside the Revolutionary War and the Great Depression) as one of the great turning points in U.S. History. Before the Civil War, Americans spoke of the United States in the plural (e.g., "The United States are comprised of several states."). After the Civil War, Americans began, for the first time, to speak of the United States in the singular (e.g., "The United States of American is a world power."). The tortured years that essentially created a new country and set America on a path toward industrial leadership and truer democracy requires a retelling by a great writer who has done his homework. James McPherson proves, in this volume, to be that kind of author. Despite its length, the book is a remarkably quick read; it is a history book that cannot be put down once started.
There are other books on the Civil War, many of them great ones. But if I had to recommend one book that treats all of the issues fairly, that gives all of the war's (and the era's) heroes and scoundrels, tragedies and triumphs, their due, it is this one. Buy it; read it; keep it in your home library.
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am 5. Juni 2000
The opening lines of th is work on the civil war are the following sentences: "On the morning of September 14, 1847, brilliant sunshine burned off the haze in Mexico City. A mild breeze sprang up to blow away the smell of gunpowder lingering from the bloody battle of Capultepec. Unshaven, mudstained soldiers of the United States ... (p.3). In moving, often dramatic and empathic prose, James McPherson has written a simply wonderful work of history. From the "novel-like" first lines to the closing chapter, McPherson delivers solid, scholarly work with a grace and a style that lulls the reader into thinking he or she is reading a work of fiction. It is perhaps, one of the best comprehensive works on the Civil War, (and the Civil War era) not only for its depth and scholarly attention to detail, but for its expansive readability. 900-plus pages, and it IS a page-turner. Highly recommended.
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am 1. Mai 2000
More American soldiers died in this war THAN IN ALL OF OUR OTHER WARS COMBINED! The total is over 600,000!. This does not include civilian casualties.
This is the most important war in US history, and McPherson's book is a very valuable contribution to its record. This book explores the causes, battles and conclusion. It is a highly readable story, told with such finesse that you almost feel that you don't know how it will come out.
I especially like the way McPherson points out areas of deep controversy and analyses them. Also very interesting are the changing attitudes beginning with a war to perserve the Union and ending with the 13th Amendment.
The amazing thing about this book is that after 130 years, the issues are still relevant, the material fresh, and the importance of this to our own lives, vital.
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