Amanda Foreman's magnificent book provides a completely fresh perspective on the first great modern conflict. Weaving together a vast panoply of people and events, it dramatically brings alive this extraordinary period on British and American history. (Antony Beevor )
It rolls along with the ragged grandeur of one of Ulysses S. Grant's infantry battalions. If you've an appetite for serious history, you'll be in hog-heaven. (Sam Leith Spectator
)'A World on Fire
is an achievement as enjoyable as it is impressive. As in a great nineteenth-century novel, a teeming cast propels this epic - the gallant and the craven, scoundrels and lovers, diplomats and freebooters - some helplessly caught in the gale, others with their hands firmly on the levers of power. Charles Dickens appears in this book; had he been an historian he might well have written it.' (Richard Snow, Editor American Heritage, 1990-2007
)A World on Fire
is a staggering achievement. (Christopher Silvester Daily Express
Here is an iridescent book; vivid like a rainbow but rather more substantial...The book is like Gone With The Wind
but with the true history inserted, and even more importantly, it is a biography of two people at an epic moment in their shared history. Anger, resentment, sympathy, loyalty, all the emotions that characterise Anglo-American relations today, can be traced back to this period. (Antonia Fraser Mail on Sunday
From the Publisher
I am the publisher of this book. It is enormously heartening to see the enthusiasm for Amanda Foreman's book in the overwhelming majority of the comments posted here, especially as they are by people who have so clearly immersed themselves in it for a long time. It is a book which repays the commitment made to it, as many commentators have said.
A few of the comments refer to unspecified errors that others have supposedly detected, and one or two even claim there are profound - though uncatagorised - mistakes, attacking the book's 'academic accuracy' without giving a single example as reference. Only one reviewer here actually points to anything which might qualify as a mistake - a footnote error on page 797.
There are always differences of opinion and emphasis among historians, which are just that - differences of opinion and emphasis, not 'mistakes'. And despite our best efforts all history books, especially long ones, contain typos and even occasionally minor editing errors which we will generally correct for the paperback; I am always grateful to hear from anyone who has spotted any such errors. But it does pain me when the open forum of Amazon is used to repeat - perhaps innocently, but certainly unfairly - unsubstantiated criticism. For the true professionals' opinions of this extraordinarily engaging, highly original and astonishingly researched book, please look at the reviews posted nearby.