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The Civil War in Books: An Analytical Bibliography

Eicher, David J. [Forward by Gary W. Gallagher]

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ISBN 10: 0252022734 / ISBN 13: 9780252022739
Published by University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1997
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Steven G. Jennings (Spring Branch, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Civil War in Books: An Analytical ...

Publisher: University of Illinois Press, Urbana

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Printing

About this title


  With the assistance of several
        scholars, including James M. McPherson and Gary Gallagher, and a long-time
        specialist in Civil War books, Ralph Newman, David Eicher has selected
        for inclusion in The Civil War in Books the 1,100 most important
        books on the war. These are organized into categories as wide-ranging
        as "Battles and Campaigns," "Biographies, Memoirs, and
        Letters," "Unit Histories," and "General Works."
        The last of these includes volumes on black Americans and the war, battlefields,
        fiction, pictorial works, politics, prisons, railroads, and a host of
        other topics.
      Annotations are included for
        all entries in the work, which is presented in an oversized 8 1/2 x 11
        inch volume in two-column format. Appendixes list "prolific"
        Civil War publishers and other Civil War bibliographies, and the works
        included in Eicher's mammoth undertaking are indexed by author or editor
        and by title.
      Gary Gallagher's foreword
        traces the development of Civil War bibliographies and declares that Eicher's
        annotation exceeds that of any previous comprehensive volume. The Civil
        War in Books, Gallagher believes, is "precisely the type of guide"
        that has been needed.
      The first full-scale, fully-annotated
        bibliography on the Civil War to appear in more than thirty years, Eicher's
        The Civil War in Books is a remarkable compendium of the best reading
        available about the worst conflict ever to strike the United States.
      The bibliography, the most
        valuable reference book on the subject since The Civil War Day by Day,
        will be essential for college and university libraries, dealers in rare
        and secondhand books, and Civil War buffs.

From Booklist:

Eichler, a serious student of the Civil War, recently authored the well-received Civil War Battlefields: A Touring Guide (Taylor, 1995). With the assistance of five well-known Civil War scholars (Gallagher, McPherson, Neely, Geoffrey, and Robertson), he has compiled a useful analytical bibliography of Civil War books. In the introduction, the compilers estimate there are more than 50,000 books dealing with the Civil War. Scrutinizing the standard bibliographies, they have come up with a list of 1,100 titles published from 1865 through 1995 that they consider to be the most important, current, or representative of a subject field.

The book is divided into five categories: "Battles and Campaigns," "Confederate Biographies," "Union Biographies," "General Works," and "Unit Histories." Each category is further divided into subject sections. For example, the biographies categories are divided into politicians, soldiers, sailors, and others. A typical entry provides complete bibliographic information although in a unique format. Some entries note the author's years of birth and death, or additional information such as whether the author won a Pulitzer Prize. Most annotations are at least three to four paragraphs in length and analyze the importance of the work and any biases or errors and also provide information on reprints and different editions. Rounding out this interesting bibliography are two appendixes: one lists 57 prolific publishers of Civil War books and the other 54 other Civil War bibliographies. An author/editor index and a title index will assist users. Also included within the indexes are books mentioned in annotations.

In the 1960s, during the Civil War Centennial commemoration, several excellent bibliographies were compiled by distinguished scholars. Not much had been done to update them until recently. Guide to Civil War Books by Barbuto [RBB Mr 15 96] surveys 320 monographs published in the last 20 years. According to Eichler, only about 27 percent of the 1,100 titles in The Civil War in Books were published since 1981. Thus, the two books are decidedly different in scope. Barbuto is definitely better in coverage of social aspects of the war, such as slavery, Native Americans, and secession. In addition, some significant historians such as Fogel, Genovese, Freehling, Quarles, Kantor, and Morsberger are not included in Eichler. The Civil War in Books is an excellent bibliography for academic, public, and Civil War collections that need a survey of the best books published over the past 130 years. Those that need a bibliography of just the best current books should purchase Guide to Civil War Books.

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