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Old 07-06-2009, 03:02 AM
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Default OT: About books

Bon dia!

Searching for a little advice here:
  • My curiosity about American Civil War has grown in these past months and I'm planning to buy a book in Amazon about the matter. I'm looking for a general and neutral picture of the conflict, not a single battle. I'm sure some of you can give me a good suggestions about a good title.
  • Recently I've searched in Amazon for some of the fictional books recommended in this forum about World War III (not much publications in Spain about the matter). Sadly, some interesting titles are only available as "used". I have no problem about buying used/old books (we have a great specialized market in Barcelona every sunday). But one thing is seeing and touching the product and another very different is to buy it online. How about their Anyone has any experience about buying used books through Amazon? Are they in good conditions?

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
Bon dia!

Searching for a little advice here:
  • My curiosity about American Civil War has grown in these past months and I'm planning to buy a book in Amazon about the matter. I'm looking for a general and neutral picture of the conflict, not a single battle. I'm sure some of you can give me a good suggestions about a good title.
  • Recently I've searched in Amazon for some of the fictional books recommended in this forum about World War III (not much publications in Spain about the matter). Sadly, some interesting titles are only available as "used". I have no problem about buying used/old books (we have a great specialized market in Barcelona every sunday). But one thing is seeing and touching the product and another very different is to buy it online. How about their Anyone has any experience about buying used books through Amazon? Are they in good conditions?

Thanks in advance
Answering in reverse.

As long as the book seller has a good rating I would not have problem buying used. I have purchased about 15 books used and have never had an issue with quality.

Regarding the Civil War. I have to be honest and say that for an unbiased overview I feel the best source is the Ken Burns documentary "The Civil War". Rarely do I feel that video can surpass the written word, but here Mr. Burns succeeds.

Last edited by kato13; 04-12-2017 at 05:40 PM. Reason: typo noticed 8 years later.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kato13
Regarding the Civil War. I have to be honest and say that for an unbiased overview I feel the best source is the Ken Burns documentary "The Civil War". Rarely do I feel that video can surpass the written word, but here Mr. Burns succeeds.
I've always wanted to learn more about the 'War of Northern Aggression' too. Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try and track that doco down.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:44 AM
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It is 11 hours IIRC. It is one of the few things where I will drop everything to watch it.

*** removed**** here is the introduction


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN2huQB-DmE found another link to the first ~4 min. This one is from Ken himself so it should stay up.

Last edited by kato13; 04-12-2017 at 05:40 PM. Reason: removed dead link
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:09 AM
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As a bit of an ACW nut I would recommend the trilogy by Shelby Foote (who charmingly featured in Ken Burns' series)

The Civil War, A Narrative: Fort Sumter to Perryville
The Civil War, A Narrative: Fredericksburg to Meridian
The Civil War, A Narrative: Red River to Appomatox

While these are three chunky books, they are beautifully written and will definately whet your interest. I can pretty much guarantee you will be asking about detailed treatments of individual campaigns in a few months after having read these and watched the TV series.

Malcolm
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:31 AM
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I can only answer re the buying of used books from Amazon (or rather from independant booksellers via Amazon) - I have bought a dozen or so and the quality has always been as described.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:26 PM
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Battle cry of Freedom by McPherson was a great one-volume book of the ACW.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee
Battle cry of Freedom by McPherson was a great one-volume book of the ACW.
I second this recommendation. Battle Cry of Freedom is widely considered to be the best single volume history of the American Civil War available to the layman. It's a little dry in places but it's still top notch.

Shelby Foote's three volume narrative history of the war is really good but quite long.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:06 PM
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I can only answer re the buying of used books from Amazon (or rather from independant booksellers via Amazon) - I have bought a dozen or so and the quality has always been as described.
I make a point of buying myself at least one book from Amazon a month. The used books I've gotten there have almost always been in better condition than the stated quality.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b
I make a point of buying myself at least one book from Amazon a month. The used books I've gotten there have almost always been in better condition than the stated quality.
Lucky! I wish I could by a book a month from Amazon.

My experience buying used books through Amazon Marketplace sellers has been mostly good. However, I did just buy two books described as "Like New" that came in decidedly worse condition than advertized.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
I've always wanted to learn more about the 'War of Northern Aggression' too. Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try and track that doco down.

Sir, I think you are mistaken. You mean the war of the Rebellion.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:49 PM
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Sir, I think you are mistaken. You mean the war of the Rebellion.
*Chuckles* I thought my comment might fire up the Yankees a bit
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:32 PM
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Nope... the war of northern aggression is quite accurate. the majority of the northern citizens (and the supreme court for that matter) saw the succession of the southern states as just. since member states of a republic have the right to leave if they decide it is in their best interest to leave... Because the moment you are not able to leave peacefully through succession... You cease being a republic and become an empire.

I'm from North Carolina. The last state to join the confederate states.. succession was something us North Carolinians did NOT favor, right up until Linclon ordered the North Carolina Militia to raise three regiments and ordered them to deploy into South Carolina to 'put down the rebellion'... In fact Zebulon Vance, our US Senator at the time was travelling through the state holding rally's to support remaining in the Union, right up until he got the telegram ordering the militia to mobilize and go into SC. At the same rally, he went from saying that NC will stay in the Union no matter what... To saying, it's time to succeed and here is why.

The states had the right to succeed, and this is why NONE of the leaders of the CSA had been tried for treason. Especially when it would have gone to the Supreme Court who would have classifed the 'Civil War' as a war of aggression against a seperate sovereign state and that the Union would have had to withdraw and pay repreations to the south thanks to Sherman's March through the south....

Besides a Republic only exists when the union that creates it is voluntary, and when that union becomes something that can be enforced, it becomes an Empire. That was one of the under current stories in Star Wars if you look hard enough.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:56 PM
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Nope... the war of northern aggression is quite accurate. the majority of the northern citizens (and the supreme court for that matter) saw the succession of the southern states as just. since member states of a republic have the right to leave if they decide it is in their best interest to leave...
USED to be legal -- the right of secession was, in fact, written into the US Constitution. A later amendment (after the Civil War) negated that right.

The Civil War is essentially a purely historical issue for me, especially since my BA is in History with a concentration in Military History. I'm a military brat with a Croatian mother and a biological father whose family is from Massachusetts, and a stepmonster from Arkansas. I'm basically a typical mutt American.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:00 AM
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My state has come close to trying to secede from the Commonwealth of Australia a couple of times but there is no way the rest of the country would have let it happen - Western Australia's mineral wealth and other resources are just too valuable to be let go.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:07 AM
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Lucky! I wish I could by a book a month from Amazon.
I din't actually buy a book this month -- I got the complete first season DVD set of Star Trek: Enterprise. I've missed most episodes of that series.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b
USED to be legal -- the right of secession was, in fact, written into the US Constitution. A later amendment (after the Civil War) negated that right.

The Civil War is essentially a purely historical issue for me, especially since my BA is in History with a concentration in Military History. I'm a military brat with a Croatian mother and a biological father whose family is from Massachusetts, and a stepmonster from Arkansas. I'm basically a typical mutt American.
quite right... thus we are a republic in name at the moment.

My family has been from NC since the founding. I am a desendent of Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. a signer of the constitution for NC and one of the men who pushed so hard for the Bill of Rights. he and his son would serve as both state governor and as a representative in the US Congress. On, and I learned that he had died in a duel... Sometimes i wish we still had legalized deuling. It could make life alot simpiler (and cause people to be alot more polite as well).

I guess you could say I am technically a German-American since the Spaights/Speight/Spake/Spaak/Spakiov family started out in the German state of Pommerania... But as far as I am concered... I am an American pure and simple.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. As always, lot of useful information here.
And I will take the risk with Amazon.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:33 AM
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USED to be legal -- the right of secession was, in fact, written into the US Constitution. A later amendment (after the Civil War) negated that right.
Really? Which one?
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:03 PM
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It's been nearly eight years since I started this thread!!!???

Well... I've make my homework. I started with the Ken Burns documentary (one of the best documentary works Iíve seen about history). It served to grow my interest in the subject, and I think this is the best things anyone can say about a documentary. I followed with MacPhersonís Battlecry for Freedom, a good book to understand the overall picture and the prewar years (I was specially ignorant about the vertiginous development of the United States in the two decades before the war). Then I take a rest from history essays with Gods and Generals and Killer Angels. After the novels, I find a series of lessons of the Yale University in Youtube. And, with an incredible fortune, I found the three volumes of Shelby Footeís The Civil War: A Narrative on the shelves of a role-playing game / wargame shop in Barcelona, while I was looking for something else. This was two years ago. Iíve read the first two volumes and Iím reading the third right now. And I must say Iím enjoying it very much. Although the more literary style of Foote itís a hard exam for my English skill level, the vividly way in which he explains every letter, conference, battle, travel and speech keeps me hooked to the reading.

So, even after eight years, thank you for your recommendations.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:29 PM
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If you want any books that focus more on equipment from the War to Preserve Slavery, my recommendations would be Earl J. Hess' The Rifled Musket in Civil War Combat: Reality and Myth (2008, University Press of Kansas) and Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War (Olmstead, Hazlett, and Parks, 1983/2004, University of Illinois Press).
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:02 PM
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It's been nearly eight years since I started this thread!!!???

Well... I've make my homework. I started with the Ken Burns documentary (one of the best documentary works Iíve seen about history). It served to grow my interest in the subject, and I think this is the best things anyone can say about a documentary. I followed with MacPhersonís Battlecry for Freedom, a good book to understand the overall picture and the prewar years (I was specially ignorant about the vertiginous development of the United States in the two decades before the war). Then I take a rest from history essays with Gods and Generals and Killer Angels. After the novels, I find a series of lessons of the Yale University in Youtube. And, with an incredible fortune, I found the three volumes of Shelby Footeís The Civil War: A Narrative on the shelves of a role-playing game / wargame shop in Barcelona, while I was looking for something else. This was two years ago. Iíve read the first two volumes and Iím reading the third right now. And I must say Iím enjoying it very much. Although the more literary style of Foote itís a hard exam for my English skill level, the vividly way in which he explains every letter, conference, battle, travel and speech keeps me hooked to the reading.

So, even after eight years, thank you for your recommendations.
Just so you know, Shelby Foote's Civil War: A Narrative is a 14 volume set. Volumes 7 and 8 (Gettysburg) are the hardest volumes to find. Amazon usually has the rest available.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:10 PM
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Just so you know, Shelby Foote's Civil War: A Narrative is a 14 volume set. Volumes 7 and 8 (Gettysburg) are the hardest volumes to find. Amazon usually has the rest available.
I don't know if it has been published in a lighter format, but I have three volumes (the last one with more than 1000 pages):

The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville
The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol 3: Red River to Appomattox
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:23 PM
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I don't know if it has been published in a lighter format, but I have three volumes (the last one with more than 1000 pages):

The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville
The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol 3: Red River to Appomattox
That might be a "compiled" version. Each of my books is about 300 pages long. The first volume (which I just happen to have the copy of) is Secession to Fort Henry (ISBN 0-7835-0100-5). He wrote a couple of series so yours might be a different version.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:11 PM
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Iíve read the first two volumes and Iím reading the third right now. And I must say Iím enjoying it very much. Although the more literary style of Foote itís a hard exam for my English skill level, the vividly way in which he explains every letter, conference, battle, travel and speech keeps me hooked to the reading.
Hello Marc! What a coincidence! I too just started Vol. 3, albeit after a visit to Gettysburg this summer. My goal is to finish it this summer. As soon as I got back to Arizona from the battlefield, I reread Killer Angels and Foote's chapter on the campaign (which is also published as a stand-alone book entitled The Stars in Their Courses) in Vol 2 of his narrative history of the war.

If you liked McPherson's Battle Cry... (it's the best single volume history of the war and its origins out there, IMO), he's written several other works about campaigns and battles of the Civil War. I received his book about the naval side of the Civil War a couple of years ago but haven't read it yet.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:45 PM
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That might be a "compiled" version. Each of my books is about 300 pages long. The first volume (which I just happen to have the copy of) is Secession to Fort Henry (ISBN 0-7835-0100-5). He wrote a couple of series so yours might be a different version.
The original Random House printing was three volumes. Time-Life re-released it as fourteen volumes. Essentially, vol. 1-4 of Time-Life are the first Random House, 5-9 are the second book, and 10-14 are the third book.

Edit: Also, Random House did a 2005 printing in nine volumes, splitting each of the original books into three.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:06 PM
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Anything by Bruce Catton is highly recommended. Still can get copies on Amazon quite cheap.

Bruce Catton is still the dean of American military historians and the Civil War. He tells his story with wit, verve, accuracy, and the feeling of having been there. Unfortunately, like other great American historians who have passed on, such as John R. Elting, Frederick P. Todd, H. Charles McBarron, and Anne Brown, we won't see his like again.
In this marvelous first volume of his trilogy of the great, luckless, and hard-used Army of the Potomac, Catton tells the story of an army in search of a commander that can win with it. After the first botched attempt at First Bull Run, the army gets a commander who knows how to organize and train them, Goerge McClellan. What he cannot do, however, is lead them in combat. McClellan doesn't have the killer instinct of a true independent commander, nor does he have the requisite moral character to send the army into the fire, accept the losses needed to win, and be done with it. What he condemns his beloved army to is three years of defeats and heavy losses, punctuated by the few glorious moments, such as Gettysburg, where, despite the deficiencies of its many commanders, it fights on until final victory.
This volume tells of the growing and training of the Army of the Potomac, the heartbreak of the Peninsular Campaign, and the thrown away opportunity at Second Bull Run. We meet famous units, such as the 5th New Hampshire, the immortal Iron Brigade of western regiments, the Irish Brigade under such regimental and brigade commanders as John Gibbon, Israel Richardson, Francis Barlow, Phil Kearney, and Grimes Davis.
Grimly enduring, faithful to the Republic, stolid in the defense and gallant in the attack, the Army of the Potomac, repeatedly defeated and badly led at the army level, comes back time and again to face its foe.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:10 AM
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USED to be legal -- the right of secession was, in fact, written into the US Constitution. A later amendment (after the Civil War) negated that right.

The Civil War is essentially a purely historical issue for me, especially since my BA is in History with a concentration in Military History. I'm a military brat with a Croatian mother and a biological father whose family is from Massachusetts, and a stepmonster from Arkansas. I'm basically a typical mutt American.
Also an 1869 Supreme Court case where some Texans advocated not signing the treaty to remain in the Union. My Interest stem from an ancestor in Canada who got a draft notice right after his citizen papers. He traveled with his father when one turned their corn to whiskey and sold it in New Orleans and fell in love with the mid-west. I look at this for Morrow Project economics as well.
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