April 1865: The Month That Saved America: Portable Professor Series

April 1865: The Month That Saved America: Portable Professor Series

by Jay Winik

Audio CD(Unabridged, 8 CD's, 7.51 hrs.)

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PORTABLE PROFESSOR™ is a series of exciting and informative lectures recorded by some of today's most renowned university and college professors. Each course introduces listeners to fascinating, and sometimes startling, insights into the intellectual forces that shape our understanding of the world. Each package includes 14 riveting lectures presented by notable professors as well as a book-length course guide.

In April 1865, after nearly five years of bitter civil war, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. Soon after, Richmond lay in ruins, Lincoln had been assassinated, and the terrible war—which had cost some 600,000 American lives—was not yet over. Many of the Confederate commanders still in the field that fateful April were prepared to fight a guerrilla war that might have prolonged the conflict indefinitely. Award-winning author Jay Winik here brings the tension of that pivotal month to life in a riveting series of lectures about the final chapter of the U.S. Civil War.


  1. A Nation Delayed
  2. The Dilemma: America as Two Nations
  3. The Warrior: Robert E. Lee
  4. The Epic Fall of Richmond
  5. The Chase-Grant Hot on Lee's Heels
  6. The Fateful Decision: Guerrilla War?
  7. U.S. Grant and the Historic Meeting at Appomattox
  8. April l4: Decapitation…and the Great Unraveling?
  9. Abraham Lincoln: On Whom So Much Depends
  10. Post-Assassination: Would it Now All Come Undone?
  11. The Volatile Ones: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Bill Sherman
  12. The Surrender Continues
  13. The Final Obstacles to Reconciliation
  14. What Happened To Make a Nation?

Following a distinguished career in the U.S. government as a national security and foreign policy adviser, Jay Winik is now a senior scholar at the Center for International and Strategic Studies and adjunct professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland. Winik is the author of On the Brink, about the end of the Cold War, as well as the best-selling April 1865: The Month That Saved America, on which this course is based.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780760750148
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 05/03/2004
Series: Portable Professor Series
Edition description: Unabridged, 8 CD's, 7.51 hrs.
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.25(h) x 2.00(d)

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April 1865: The Month That Saved America: Portable Professor Series 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Nodosaurus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
April 1865 is about the end of the Civil War. It describes the history that lead to the particular events that occurred, starting with the constitution and continuing through the final surrender. At every step, the lecturer discusses what it means to the nation, as a whole. Jay Winik, the author and lecturer, is a professor of history and has served in national security. His work has involved him in numerous civil wars around the globe. I wasn't sure what to make of this, I picked it up at Barnes and Noble during one of their 75%-off sales. My first impression wasn't strong, the lecturer was almost monotonic and the content seemed weak. But that impression was quickly replaced when he provided, not just the historical facts, but full background and motivations; then he made it all sound interesting!Jay Winik builds the story mostly chronologically, discussing each of a large number of major characters. For each, he provides a background, discusses strengths and weaknesses, and his position in the power and political pictures of the period. He made the people come to life, they were no longer names in a book, but real people. He brought the struggles, defined the relationships between the different people, and build their personalities. There is so much information that we never learned, I strongly recommend this lecture series for anyone interested in history. For any US Civil War buffs, it is a must.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! I found out so much about the events and decisions of April, 1865. The professor speaks in a pleasant voice with steady delivery and a great vocabulary. He explains the backgrounds of the political figures and generals who affected the outcome of the Civil War and reveals details I never knew before. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is a lot of good information here, but the presentation is terrible. Some examples: Lincoln meets with Grant and Sherman before the Richmond campaign. Lincoln raised his hand and said to Lee...Lee? After the fall of Richmond and the morning of Lincoln's assassination, he was happy and talkative, to Mary Lincoln's delight. Mary Lincoln said to Robert E. Lee...Who? The professor's oft repeated phrase: and the fact of the matter was is..., or the fact of the matter is was... How about Wilson's cavalry chasing Nathan Bedford Forrest, and the cavalry 'fierced clashly!' I see why this was reduced in purchase price. This professor is apparently very bright, he does have a PhD from Yale. But, Professor, write a book and I'll buy it, but no more oral presentation, please. This course compares poorly with the Teaching Company or other Portable Professor subjects. I think the instructor speaks so fast, he doesn't realize what he is saying sometimes. Enough said.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is a lot of good material to present, but not enough to fill 14 lectures. Our narrator has to repeat the same idea many times to fill in the gaps, and it gets very cumbersome after the first couple. I like the idea of the Portable Professor series, but was disappointed in my first purchase.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very pleasantly surprised by this CD set. I've learned from reading books on the subject that in our schools we're taught a very narrow vein of material when it comes to the Civil War, and Winik successfully engages the listener with many of the 'things of paramount importance that we didnn't learn.' Additionally, he helps us better understand the personalities of the major players who helped shape and rebuild a nation at the waning of such a horrific period. The accompanying booklet is a nice addition and, although not necessary for the enjoyment of this title, adds some nice value (especially considering the sale price!). My only criticism worth noting is Winik's overuse of phrases like 'imagine if you will because this is critical to this lecture.' They're so common that they're almsot distracting. BUT...this really is a meanial criticsm and in no way reduces the quality of this title. I like to think it just illustrates his enthusiasm for the subject. Bottom line - I'd highly recommend it to anyone - Civil War buff or no!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this set of CDs. I found the lectures cumbersome to listen to with a great deal of repetition and also slips of the tongue that resulted in obvious inaccuracies. I have listened to a great many professors on the Teach12 series, all of which are far superior to this set of lectures. The facts and insights are engaging at times, but the lecture style is weak. The information could have been easily condensed down to four good, compact lectures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent lecture series, in fact I was pleasntly suprised. Jay Winik has the ability to open up the month of April 1865 as if it were a book to be read. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
after listening to the wonderful lectures , i still do not know why america was saved in april 1865. the lectures were great in detailing the vignettes and describing the the princpal leaders of the union and the confederacy
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a geat set of lectures into learning most about the Civil War in what happened in one month. If you are taking a history college course you will want to listen to these lectures and fill yourself up with more knowledge about the Civil War
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a big fan of the Portable Professor Series, but this one was a bit of a let down. There's a lot of biographical information here I didn't know. The amount of respect I have for Lincoln, Grant and especially Lee has grown tremendously after listening to this material. However, the South's decision not to pursue a guerilla campaign - what drew me to this title - is barely covered. It seems like an add-on more than the point of the book. I'd love to see the decision-making process covered in more detail.