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Such is the continuing volume of work on the Civil War that we are regularly in need of an authoritative and accessible brief synthesis to keep us up to date with this endlessly fascinating subject. Brooks Simpson meets that need for the 1990s in America's Civil War, a wonderful feat of compression in which he addresses all the great issues of the war in 200 pages of clear and readable prose. Rightly, he puts the military history of the conflict at the center of the picture, but he excels in relating the drama of the war itself to the politics of both Union and Confederacy, to the stresses and strains-and opportunities-of the home front, and to the great issues of emancipation and reconstruction. This book is a fine achievement, and it will be invaluable not only to students but to many other readers-and even Civil War specialists will benefit from its fresh insights.–Peter J. Parish, Cambridge University
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"Sensible, well-written, and thoroughly grounded in the most recent scholarship, America's Civil War is the best short synthesis of the subject available." —Mark Grimsley, Ohio State University
"This book is a fine achievement, and it will be invaluable not only to students but to many other readers—and even Civil War specialists will benefit from its fresh insights." —Peter J. Parish
"Simpson has written a lively and interpretive history of the US Civil War. Based on a mastery of the secondary literature, Simpson's narrative weaves the political, military, and social history of this significant period." (CHOICE, September 1996)
"This work finally condenses the story of the War to a manageable size for the beginner and student alike. ...Written in a clear, concise manner, this book belongs on the book shelves of any collector of writings on the Civil War." (The Cincinnati Civil War Round Table, November 1996)
"Students looking for a condensed, clear, and evenhanded summary of a particular campaign would do well to consult this volume. ...America's Civil War will be a useful supplemental reading in survey courses and a solid short text for courses on the war itself. Occupying an important niche between the single-chapter accounts of the American history textbooks and much longer single-volume treatments...Simpson's book admirably fulfills the goals of the American History Series." (Civil War History, June 1997)
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