Battle Cry of Freedom

Battle Cry of Freedom

Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War.

James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views 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.

The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict.

This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.

Title:Battle Cry of Freedom
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780195168952
Format Type:

    Battle Cry of Freedom Reviews

  • Jan-Maat

    Embarking on reading or in this case rerereading McPherson's civil war at 800 plus pages feels like committing to refighting that four year conflict. One feels the need of a logistics corps to support...

  • Mustafa Ahmad

    Being a young history buff, it took me 3 weeks and 3 days to read this. That is, 3 weeks of contemplating reading it and proceeding to finish it in 3 days. This book is undoubtedly the best 1-volume b...

  • Bryan  Jones

    It is reported that there are 15,000 books on the Civil War in the Library of Congress, so the natural question is where do you start? Furthermore, Most of the "seminal" Civil War works are volumes an...

  • Steven Peterson

    If you want detailed discussion of battles, this is not the book for you. If you want detailed descriptions of key actors during the Civil War, this will not be the book for you. But if you want an al...

  • Eric

    The times, they change so fast, and the Young People Today know nothing of drive-ins… of paper routes…of bizarrely racist street parades: Indiana Democrats organized a parade which included young ...

  • B. P. Rinehart

    "The terms of...peace and the dimensions of black freedom would occupy the country for a decade or more. Meanwhile the process of chronicling the war and reckoning [with] its consequences began immedi...

  • Nick T. Borrelli

    As I have gotten older I have definitely become more interested in reading about history, especially books about the Civil War. My reading tastes have evolved from someone who only used to read Fantas...

  • Esdaile

    This work is certainly very extensively researched and annotated and abounds in comments from contemporaries-quotations, extracts from diaries etc. This is so much the case that it is arguable that Mc...

  • Aaron Arnold

    Widely acclaimed as the best single-volume history of the Civil War around, this is another entry in the Oxford History of the United States, which I am enjoying immensely. The preface had an interest...

  • Donna Davis

    If you only choose to read one (challenging and sizable) resource on the American Civil War, this is the one. It won the Pulitzer, and although it is a large piece of work, it is immensely readable. I...