Posts tagged ‘Books’

Civil War Trust provides history lovers with ‘Essential To-Do List’ for 150th Anniversary

(Washington, D.C.) – Whether it’s standing atop Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain or inside Antietam’s Dunker Church, or viewing the remains of the ironclad USS Monitor or the Confederate submarine HL Hunley, some experiences have the power to bring history alive like nothing else can.  Believing there is no substitute for experiencing the places and situations that made history, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest battlefield preservation organization, is marking the sesquicentennial anniversary of the American Civil War with the release of an exciting new book designed to bring the past alive for students of history in dynamic new ways.

The Civil War 150: An Essential To-Do List for the 150th Anniversary features top suggestions for the tours, museums, books, movies and other activities that every true Civil War aficionado should seek out during the four-year sesquicentennial commemoration.  Featured sites span the nation from Boston Common to metro Los Angeles, while some activities can be done anywhere with the assistance of a computer or television.

“The Civil War is such a dynamic part of American history that it was nearly impossible to distill its substance to only 150 experiences,” said Trust president James Lighthizer.  “Certainly there are hundreds of additional sites and activities that we could have included.  But we are confident that once you begin using this guide in to experience history in a whole new way, physically walking in the footsteps of heroes — be they famous generals or common soldiers and civilians — you’ll be hooked and eager to find your own adventures.”

The book is available for $14.95 from publisher Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, beginning today.  The 272-page paperback book includes numerous illustrations and maps, as well as checklists to track your progress through the challenging list.  For more information on Civil War 150, visit the Civil War Trust website

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, the Trust has preserved nearly 30,000 acres of battlefield in 20 states.  Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.

To purchase a copy, click here.


Too Many Civil War Books?

Written by John Hiett 

The flood of books a couple of years ago commemorating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth got me wondering just how many Lincoln books our library could absorb.

When so many titles get published at once, don’t many get overlooked, or does an event create enough interest that the books find an audience? The same thing is happening now with the sesquicentennial of the Civil War (1861-1865). Lots of books, many of them well reviewed, are being released and will be for the next few years. Where to start? A couple approaches might work.

American Brutus

First, there are some excellent overviews of the entire era. “The Civil War: A Concise History,” by Louis Masur, covers the tensions leading to war, Lincoln’s election, secession, the war itself and reconstruction in a mere 118 pages. In no time at all, you can get back to trying to keep up with James Patterson. Less concise, Steven Woodworth’s “This Great Struggle: America’s Civil War” is more thorough. The Smithsonian Institution is involved with “Civil War: A Visual History,” published by DK, meaning it will contain excellent graphics. Ken Burns (yes, we have his landmark video series) contributes a foreword to “Discovering the Civil War,” a collection of original documents and photographs from the National Archives.

Alternately, one could approach the Civil War chronologically, beginning with David Egerton’s “Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election That Brought on the Civil War.” From there, try “Dogs of War 1861,”by Emory Thomas, or “1861: the Civil War Awakening,” by Adam Goodheart, or “The Civil War: The First Year Told by Those who Lived It.”

Looking for revisionist history? David Goldfield’s “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation,” attributes the war to religious fundamentalism and manifest destiny in the North. “God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War,” by George Rable, examines the role of religion on both sides.

One also could approach the war through different lenses. “The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War,” by Donald Stoker, would be for military buffs looking for a macro view. “Lincoln on War”collects the writings of the great man himself, revealing the lengths he was prepared to go to preserve the union.

Finally, John Lockwood asks why the Confederacy didn’t simply invade Washington, D.C., a mostly undefended southern city at the beginning of the war in “The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union.”

If the Civil War is a topic that interests you, there will be plenty to choose from this year. These and other books on the Civil War can be found on the second floor of the Iowa City Public Library.

John Hiett is a senior librarian at the Iowa City Public Library.

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