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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam 1862 (audiobook) by James McPherson



Does a brilliant job of looking at the "meaning" of the battle of Antietam

James McPherson
I have nearly 90 books that cover the Civil War on my bookshelf. Most books that cover the Civil War compartmentalize the battles into little chapters with titles like "Chancellorsville", "Antietam" and "Shiloh". The battles are thoroughly covered but the feel for the larger flow of the war is sacrificed.

In Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam 1862, McPherson dramatically sweeps the reader along and I was left with a renewed sense of amazement and respect for the fact that Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was able to fight, let alone go on the offensive against two seperate armies and fight multiple, large battles from June through September of 1862.


George B. McClellan, the victor
of the Battle of Antietam despite
his many mistakes



McPherson does an extraordinary job of tying in many of the political and military threads of this war to demonstrate that Antietam was the day that determined the outcome of the war, and not the more popular belief that it was July 4, 1863 with the dual losses for the Confederacy at Vicksburg and Gettysburg.

McPherson provides multiple quotations from those involved in the political and military events of the time. In fact, at times the story is told mostly through choice quotes from generals, ambassadors and prominent private citizens such as Frederick Douglass and Horace Greeley.

The audiobook was well read by Nelson Runger. The audiobook last about 5 hours and 45 minutes and was a joy to listen to.
 
I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (Pivotal Moments in American History)  

Reviewed on September 26, 2008.

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