Sunday, August 28, 2011

Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson (GRADE: A+)

I have recently finished Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson.  Overall, it was an outstanding book.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in history.  This is historical writing at its finest!  I grade this book an A+.

This is a one volume summary of the American Civil War including a description of many aspects (political, economic, etc) of America during this era.

The first third of the book, about the first 300 pages, described the causes of the American Civil war.  I found this part of the book very interesting.  It seemed like there was a perfect storm brewing in the mid 19th century in America for the Civil War to occur.

The last 2/3rds of this book describe the American Civil War from the first battle to the concluding surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9th, 1865.  McPherson describes many aspects of America during this time; its politics, economic, moral of the soldiers, moral of the people and much more.

The writing is first class.  I had to read this book with a dictionary but I didn't mind.  This book stretched me as a reader and I was glad for it.

The pacing of the book was very fast.  McPherson breaks up each topic into approximately 30 page chapters.  Each chapter took me about 2 hours to read which was good for me for a day's worth of reading; and I got to read about a full topic in one sitting.

Overall, I highly highly highly recommend this to anyone.  I think that this should be required reading for any person interested in the American Civil War.  I grade this book an A+.