1861: The Civil War Awakening


This is a wonderful, brisk exploration by a talented historian of the Civil War’s first year.  Adam Goodheart tells the story of America’s descent into conflict through sketches of memorable characters who may be unfamiliar now, but who were very well known to the country then.  These include the commandant of Fort Sumner, the young military officer whose tragic death plunged President Abraham Lincoln into despair, and the three slaves whose escape to freedom helped alter public opinion in the North and seal the fate of the South’s “peculiar institution.”  This is a great read.    

Related Books

What Karl's reading

After three years preparing The Triumph of William McKinley by reading very little but books, letters, articles and newspapers from the Gilded Age, I’m trying to get back into my regular routine, which I’ll chronicle here with an occasional review of what I’ve read.

For most of the 20th century’s first half and beyond, Winston Churchill was a prominent figure on the world stage, reaching the pinnacle in his decisive role in confronting and defeating the Nazi menace.
Kim Strassel writes a heck of a great column – “Potomac Watch” – every Friday in the Wall Street Journal on whose editorial board she sits. Now this master of the short essay has written her first book and it’s a dandy. THE INTIMIDATION GAME is a brilliant exposé of how the Left is using the vast regulatory and prosecutorial powers of government to attack the First Amendment free speech rights of conservatives in order to silence and marginalize them. Rather than achieving political power at the ballot box, the Left is trying to forever silence the Right by intimidation, regulation, and if need be, jail.
A former Bush White House colleague, Yuval Levin, has written an important book for conservatives. His provocative thesis is that conservatives and liberals alike are wedded to a philosophical nostalgia that is debilitating for their respective movements and for the country.
Simon Winchester has written some smashingly good books, among them THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN, THE MAP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, A CRACK AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD and KRAKATOA. Now this British expatriate has written something of a love letter to the country that made him an American by recently granted him citizenship. THE MEN WHO UNITED THE STATES examines the (mainly) men who tied our nation together.

Button karlsbooks 8115560310d99dcf7066a6791c2abb0e6e44efbce9d2a69ac5febbadd06cf979
Button readinglist 0c30cf88cf3c963eb72013f1b5906b6848694ba842d6efa0de8d2d3efbfd8fd2
Button nextapperance d1e601b7044cba97bcfe46cdf8bc572ab09797ca56157b5f533c25051217bb69