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Brady's Civil War (Salamander Book) [Hardcover]

Webb Garrison


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Book Description

2 Jan 2001 Salamander Book
With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Mathew Brady a successful portrait photographer, turned his attention to the scenes of war that surrounded him. This volume contains more than 300 photographs taken by Brady, including images of military leaders, battle and the home front.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 2.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many errors in Brady's Civil War 5 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While I agree with the previous review as to quality of Brady's photos, etc., I do not give the book a high rating because of the large number of errors, both major and minor, found in the photo captions. These are of such serious nature as to confuse the non-specialist seeking information, and some are so flagrant as to stagger the imagination as to how they could have happened. A photo of Col. John S. Mosby, the famous "gray ghost" of the confederate army is captioned with the information that he can be identified as a colonel even though he wears no chevrons on his shoulder straps. Well, he isn't wearing shoulder straps, and even if he were, chevrons indicate rank for corporals and sergeants, not colonels, and are worn on the sleeve above the elbow, not on the shoulder straps. The book is literally filled with such mistakes, and one must conclude that Mr. Garrison may not have finished the book prior to his death last summer, and that someone with less knowledge may have been called in to complete it. If such is the case, they picked the wrong person. On page 41, "numerous colonels of the 164th NY Regiment" are shown in an outdoor shot. Whoever did this caption did not know that each regiment had only one colonel(and usually one Lt. Col. and a Major)and these are most likely just the company officers of the regiment. On page 34, we learn that "revolvers were not issued to enlisted men", but they were in cavalry and many artillery units. In one photo, Thaddeus Stevens is identified as the man beaten with a cane by Preston Brooks, when in reality, the victim was Mass. Sen. Charles Sumner(the caning of Sumner). Finally, on page 53, Colonel Stokes is said to have "no gold on his elaborately ornamented sleeve" but the galloons, or sleeve loops are totally gold braid! Errors such as these abound throughout the book and one would hope for a total revision in the near future to make it the book it should be. Charles S. King, educator/civil war collector.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't appear to have been edited 16 Mar 2001
By M. Tosko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This collection has some fabulous photographs, but the errant, often ungrammatical, and sometimes incomprehensible descriptions accompanying the photos is offputting, to say the least. Also, the introductory page to each chapter has the font aligned in the center, rather than on the lefthand margin. While this may not seem important, in a visual book such as this, it is not only annoying, but plain hard to read! Finally, the font-size occasionally changes in mid-sentence. Unbelievable! This thing looks rushed into print.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellant Compilation 28 Dec 2000
By Fred M. Blum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mr. Webb's compilation of the photographs of Matthew Brady is a fine edition to any Civil War library. The only limitation is one of expectations. In Brady's age the technology of photography was limited when compared to todays standards. The lack of fast film, or for that matter film as we know it, meant that all pictures had to be stages. Thus, there are no actual photographs of the numerous battles. Once one gets past these limitations, the compilation is excellent.
The best photographs are the portraits and the after battle scenes. The portraits rival those taken by the best portrait photographers of today. My favorites are of Sherman and of Grant. The one of Sherman properly conveys the sense of the man who led the destructive march through Georgia and to the sea.
The after battle scenes are equally compelling. A pity of the Civil War is that because we are left with mostly written descriptions of the battles that the horror is sometime lost in the perceived gallantly. The destructiveness and human costs are boldly portrayed in the photographs of the dead and dying. The pictures of the numerous amputees were especially effective.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the text 30 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The photos are... well, they are what they are. Photographic technology sucked in the 1860's and we're lucky to have what we do. It seems to me that this volume doesn't contain nearly all of Brady's shots, but maybe I'm just mistaking others' work for his. As for the text and captions, the other reviewers are right about the egregious errors and nonexistent editing. There are statements made which are downright factually wrong. How did this get published in such a state?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what you may be expecting 25 Oct 2010
By Robert W. Latham Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What do you think of when you think of Matthew Brady's Civil War photographs? Lincoln, Grant, Lee portraits certainly, but I'll bet what most people would think of would be the shatteringly dramatic scenes of the dead of several battles. Guess what? There are only a small handful in this large, expensive coffee table book. There are chapters on every aspect of the Civil War, from transportation to camp life to weapons, but none on the what Brady is best remembered for: Documenting the horrors of a battlefield days after a battle. The few photos of the dead that ARE included are always based upon something else in the photo. A train in the background, a rifle placed for effect, etc. The captions are dull and often erroneous, and several mention a Brady Exhibition of the period "The Dead of Antietam" and yet there is not a single photo from this landmark exhibition.
Google "Matthew Brady" and click on images. What do you see? THAT'S what should have been in this book. I'm not trying to be gruesome or one-dimensional here, but that's what the man is known for - and what every generation needs to see.
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