The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

by James M. McPherson


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Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for History and a New York Times Bestseller, Battle Cry of Freedom is universally recognized as the definitive account of the Civil War. It was hailed in The New York Times as "historical writing of the highest order." The Washington Post called it "the finest single volume on the war and its background." And The Los Angeles Times wrote that "of the 50,000 books written on the Civil War, it is the finest compression of that national paroxysm ever fitted between two covers."
Now available in a splendid new edition is The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom. Boasting some seven hundred pictures, including a hundred and fifty color images and twenty-four full-color maps, here is the ultimate gift book for everyone interested in American history. McPherson has selected all the illustrations, including rare contemporary photographs, period cartoons, etchings, woodcuts, and paintings, carefully choosing those that best illuminate the narrative. More important, he has written extensive captions (some 35,000 words in all, virtually a book in themselves), many of which offer genuinely new information and interpretations that significantly enhance the text. The text itself, streamlined by McPherson, remains a fast-paced narrative that brilliantly captures two decades of contentious American history, from the Mexican War to Lee's surrender at Appomattox. The reader will find a truly masterful chronicle of the war itself—the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities—as well as McPherson's thoughtful commentary on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.
A must-have purchase for the legions of Civil War buffs, The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom is both a spectacularly beautiful volume and the definitive account of the most important conflict in our nation's history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195159011
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 11/06/2003
Pages: 800
Sales rank: 249,720
Product dimensions: 11.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History at Princeton University and the President of the American Historical Association. Widely acclaimed as the leading historian of the Civil War, he is the author of Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (a New York Times bestseller), For Cause and Comrades (winner of a Lincoln Prize), and many other books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.


Princeton, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1936

Place of Birth:

Valley City, North Dakota


B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) 1958; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1963

Table of Contents

Preface to the Illustrated Editionix
Preface to the First Editionxi
Prologue: From the Halls of Montezuma2
1The United States at Midcentury6
2Mexico Will Poison Us42
3An Empire for Slavery64
4Slavery, Rum, and Romanism92
5The Crime Against Kansas112
6Mudsills and Greasy Mechanics for A. Lincoln132
7The Revolution of 1860158
8The Counterrevolution of 1861184
9Facing Both Ways: The Upper South's Dilemma218
10Amateurs Go to War248
11Farewell to the Ninety Days' War276
12Blockade and Beachhead: The Salt-Water War, 1861-1862302
13The River War in 1862324
14The Sinews of War362
15Billy Yank's Chickahominy Blues382
16We Must Free the Slaves or Be Ourselves Subdued418
17Carry Me Back to Old Virginny434
18John Bull's Virginia Reel472
19Three Rivers in Winter, 1862-1863490
20Fire in the Rear512
21Long Remember: The Summer of '63538
22Johnny Reb's Chattanooga Blues580
23When This Cruel War Is Over604
24If It Takes All Summer624
25After Four Years of Failure662
26We Are Going to Be Wiped off the Earth682
27South Carolina Must Be Destroyed710
28We Are All Americans730
Epilogue: To the Shoals of Victory750

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The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Sigma More than 1 year ago
The best Civil War book I've read because it comprehensively discusses the complex interactions between the political and military environment prior and during the war, unlike many books that focus almost exclusively on the battles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I received this volume as a Christmas gift. Being an avid Civil War buff and especially a James M. McPherson fan specifically, I was thrilled to own this volume. It is probably the most balanced account of the time that I have read. Mr. McPherson gives the reader a complete picture of what led to this catastrophic event, as well as a thorough account of the event itself. I would recommend this for any Civil War enthusiast's library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent single volume history of the American Civil War. Originally published in 1988, this updated version of the Pulitzer Prize winning history now includes haunting photographs, maps, paintings, and newspaper cartoons. This is much more than a history of the war. It covers the people, economics, political atmosphere, and events that led America into disaster. All of the major land battles and campaigns are covered as well as naval action at sea and on America's rivers. Reading this book gives one a taste of the anger, hate, frustration, and political intensity of the time. Both Northern and Southern armies suffered horrific casualties from the battles, disease, and the crude medical technology available, making the Civil War the bloodiest war in American history. If you are going to read a single volume history of the Civil War, this is the best one in my opinion written to date. It should be required reading for students of American History.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1989 Professor McPherson released his epic BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA to tremendous reception from critics and casual readers alike. The work has since become recognized as the single source for anything involving the American Civil War. The tome provided insight into the causes (incredible introduction) and war with an extra emphasis on the slavery issue.

Thirteen years later, the classic Civil War history book returns with a new illustrated printing that adds further depth to this classic. History buffs, not necessarily just students will appreciate the revised edition as the pictures and other illustrations add depth to an already deep reference book. Though this reviewer has not finished reading this edition (one chapter a week), the ILLUSTRATED BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA is a great historical volume even better than the first.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A weighty but endlessly fascinating tome, this book is much more than a summery overview of the Civil War. James McPherson delves deeply into the complex causes of the war and then paints a detailed picture, not only of the military conflict, but also of the society and politics which drove it. McPherson is not afraid to dispute popular conventional wisdom about the war and backs up his positions with facts and original sources. His writing is clear and vivid and immerses me, at least, more deeply in the subject matter than any other writer of the period. Whether you are an avid Civil War buff or new to the field, you will most likely get a lot from this classic on the subject.
p_pace More than 1 year ago
I would absolutely recommend this book to any Civil War buff. However, when I received the book, it was in less than optimal condition. The box looked like it had been through the Civil War, and the book was covered in dirt and debris. Barnes and Noble responded to my email by telling me that they were sorry for my inconvenience. They were not interested in replacing the book or anything. Though it cleaned up fairly well, it still showed some signs of wear on the book cover and book edges. So, it looked as if I gifted a used book. Recommend reading? Absolutely! Wound I recommend purchasing from Barnes and Noble? Not a chance!
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