Saturday, June 18, 2011

1861 by Adam Goodheart

I've read a number of books since I last wrote here on the blog. I'll try and go back and write about them as time permits. My most recently finished text was 1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart. An excellent read, it looked at the commencement of the Civil War from a number of different perspectives like the contraband slaves leaving Hampton, Virginia for Fort Monroe or the college professor-turned general from Ohio whose religious views seemed to defy both tradition and his own new Stone-Campbellian faith. This general would go on to be one of the greatest proponents of equal rights for freed slaves, but his term as President would be cut short after his assassination. James A. Garfield.

Yes, the stories in this well-crafted book are many and provide a nuanced view of how emotions ran in the pivotal year: 1861. Much like in 1776 or 2001, the psyche of America shifted in 1861 and Goodheart does an excellent job setting the stage for this transformative period in American history. 

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