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Atlas of the Civil War [Hardcover]

James M. McPherson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

23 Feb 2005 0762423560 978-0762423569
Here is the definitive reference to the battles of the Civil War, written by Americas leading military historians and edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War expert James M. McPherson. This authoritative volume includes gripping eyewitness accounts plus 200 specially commissioned, full-color maps that detail all of the major campaigns and many of the smaller skirmishes of the war between the states. Maps provide a superb visual reference to troop movement, battlefield terrain, and communication lines. Dynamic reconstructions depict battles fought on land, river, and ocean, and time-line descriptions provide play-by-play commentary of the action. With more than 200 photographs and many personal accounts that vividly recount the experiences of soldiers in the fields, this book brings to life the human drama that pitted the north against the south.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Perseus Books (23 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762423560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762423569
  • Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 23.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

James McPherson

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeously illustrated, with some annoying flaws 1 July 2008
James McPherson didn't write the 'Atlas of the Civil War'. He did, however, write introductory essays to each year of the war, as well as prologues and epilogues. They're fantastic: well-written and -argued, with lavish full-page pictures, and although there's too little reflection on certain issues (e.g. the (il)legality of secession), that's simply not the point. The rest of the atlas is also gorgeously illustrated, with highly detailed maps and well-chosen quotes. The accompanying articles, however, are inferior, especially typographically. There seems, for instance, to be no agreement as to whether a word split should be hyphenated (Con-/federate or Con/federate), and typograhpical errors also occur frequently. Apart from these minor issues, the entire atlas is great. I wish there was a little more on the civilian population and politics, but it is a work of military history, so that isn't fair
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars provides good general access - maps have horrible layout 27 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I found the layout of a lot of the maps quite annoying because they are placed across the spine of the book, making them hard, if not impossible, to read. Reconstructing the various situations and commanders' decisions described in the text is often impossible because all the information is crammed into a single map. It is a pity the maps are not as accessible as they are colorful because otherwise the combination of easy-to-read texts, tons of pictures and colorful maps make the atlas a good addition to any civil war literature.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice maps, horrible layout. Not recommended. 1 Dec 1997
By A Customer - Published on
The maps are beautiful - full color and very informative.
Unfortunately the publisher chose to have just about _every_ map overlap the spine of the book. Ugh! Map information near the spine is either not legible in many cases, or does not align with the other half of the map.
Suggestion to publisher: if you go to a second edition, either enlarge the book so each map fits on one page, or go to a "fold out" format.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars it rates a 10 on appearance but a 7 for accuracy 6 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on
I bought this book as a companion to reading several of Bruce Catton's histories of the war. Since Catton doesnt go through the war sequentially, and since the atlas doesnt entirely, either, it was tough initially but was helpful once i got the hang of it. But then i realized the material was not entirely accurate, more a result of poor editing than bad information. Several inset maps are shown with incorrect north arrows that lead to disorientation. At other places there are parenthetical references to an inset being "below left" when it is actually "above right." These types of errors undermine the usefulness of a reference book significantly. I considered a large number of atlases -- some specific to the war as well as others -- and this seemed to be the best. perhaps there is a potential market for a civil war era regular atlas so someone reading a history book can follow things better, without the step by step military strategy this atlas has.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly done 6 Feb 2007
By J. W. Green - Published on
This atlas is just awful. Previous reviews have inidacted how badly the maps are displayed and how they are frequently placed across the binding-- obscuring the center within the fold of the spine. Additionally the maps frequently drop comments in the middle of sentences and fail to display items for which labels are present. (Examples include the maps of Gettysburg. Here "Emmitsburg Road" -the label, floats south of the Peach Orchard, while the road itself apparently ends in front of the intersection of Taneytown Road. Another map of Gettysburg is captioned to read "18 7pm Hancock leaves for Taneytown to summon " (sic) To summon Meade to be sure, but his name is carelessly omitted.

Worst of all the commentary on Steele's campaign in spring of 1864 includes "Due to intense racial animosity, the Confederates killed a large number of African American soldiers as they attempted to surrender." An unknowing reader might think that this comment referenced white v black hatred, yet Foote tells us in the Civil War vol. 3 that these soldiers of 1st Kansas (Colored) Inf were murdered by a Choctaw regiment in service to the Confederates possibly in retaliation for atrocities by Kansas troops (white and black) against the Choctaw settlements in the west where this regiment was raised. Given the low quality of the work itself this is probably a careless error by editors rather than a political ploy. Scant mention is made of Native Americans' service to the Confederate states or to the Union states throughout the book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice atlas 8 Mar 2013
By Mary Lou Cochrane - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Got this from my library in a bigger version and would have liked that better but this is nice. I bought another Civil War atlas but this one has more maps. I was really interested in the map for Sterling Price's raids in Missouri and this atlas had that map and the information.
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