Very interesting work. The premise of this volume is simple: Publish newspaper articles from "The New York Times" depicting the progress of the Civil War from 1861-1865. The book contains about 600 newspaper articles; there is also a CD that has many thousands of additional articles. The volume also includes items from the 1850s that set the context for the Civil War (such as stories about slavery) as well as the years after the Civil War (covering Reconstruction). For those interested in primary sources, this will be fascinating reading.
On the other hand, if you want to know details of battles and campaigns, one will not be so satisfied--but that is not what this book is about. The coverage of the fighting at Forts Henry and Donelson, for instance, is rather brief and sketchy. On the other hand, the reader gets a sense of the sometimes confusing and contradictory stories from the front that Americans were reading in this newspaper.
The CD helps supplement the book. At one point, a Times story refers to the Union victory at Pea Ridge. There is no reference in the book to that strange battle, but there are a series of newspaper articles from March 12-March 23, 1862 that provide many details of the engagement.
It is interesting to get the Times' take on the status and conduct of the war, its judgment of generals, politicians, and the issues of the day. The reader develops a greater sensitivity to the context in which the war took place. It is also interesting to observe that reporters did not write stories objectively, but would often express their own views on matters.
All in all, a valuable historical resource.