Don't Know Much About the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned (Don't Know Much About Series)

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9780380719082: Don't Know Much About the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned (Don't Know Much About Series)
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“Highly informative and entertaining...propels the reader light years beyond dull textbooks and Gone with the Wind.”
San Francisco Chronicle

It has been 150 years since the opening salvo of America’s War Between the States. New York Times bestselling author Ken Davis tells us everything we never knew about our nation’s bloodiest conflict in Don’t Know Much About ® the Civil War—another fascinating and fun installment in his acclaimed series.

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Historian Kenneth C. Davis brings his remarkable ability for making the past vital and entertaining to this in-depth study of the United States' bloodiest conflict. Not content to rehash the one-dimensional accounts that traditional history textbooks have foisted upon students, Davis reexamines with a fresh, critical eye the situations leading up to and the key events that shaped the Civil War. He begins by reaching back to the earliest days of American history to understand the political, economic, and social conditions that allowed a nation founded upon the notion that "all men are created equal" to enslave and degrade 12 million human souls. In his detailed account of the war's battles and political power struggles, he introduces us to the personalities--from Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, and Frederick Douglas to common soldiers and war widows--whose vision, compromises, determination, and powerlessness together made history. Davis also brings to light little-known facts and episodes that for generations were ignored or swept under the rug of the American conscience--including the role of women in the war effort and the massacre of blacks at the hands of Union civilians. All Americans would do well to take a new look at this period of history that "shaped the country's political landscape like the great glaciers had once carved America" because, as Davis explains, its effects linger today. "The Civil War," he says, "remains at the core of our greatest national problem: the great racial divide that grew from slavery." Few programs speak with such intelligence and eloquence about how far the United States has come in terms of what the war taught--and how far it still has to go. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --Uma Kukathas

From the Inside Flap:

"What was the leading cause of death among Civil War soldiers? Why did Robert E. Lee resign from the U.S. Army? Which group was exempt from the Confederate draft? Whom did the Emancipation Proclamation emancipate? Was the Gettysburg Address truly written on the back of an envelope? Did General Sherman really say, "War is Hell?"

If you can't answer most of these questions, you're not alone. Millions of Americans, bored by dull textbooks, are in the dark about the most significant event in American history. Too many others thought they learned it all from Gone With the Wind.

Bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis sheds light on these and other questions about America's greatest conflict in this fascinating program, providing listeners with everything they "need to know" about the Civil War. With his deft wit and unconventional style, Davis sorts out the players, the politics, and the key events. Drawing on moving eyewitness accounts of the people who lived through the war, he brings listeners into the world of the ordinary men and women who made history -- the side of the story that textbooks never tell.

Don't Know Much About "RM" the Civil War explodes the myths and misconceptions about the war, its causes, and the men who fought on both sides. A brilliant crash course, it vividly brings to life Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Generals Lee and Grant, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe. It looks behind the battles and the tactics to the astounding human misery the war brought upon a divided nation, and includes a wealth of "hidden history," the lesser-known facts sure to fascinate even the most learned Civil War buff.

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