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Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Vintage Civil War Library) by [Guelzo, Allen C.]
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Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Vintage Civil War Library) Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Review

Praise for Allen C. Guelzo's "Gettysburg
"
"Graphic and emotionally affecting . . . an extraordinarily detailed and realistic account."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
"This is a masterful battle study, masterfully told. . . . Engaging. . . . Guelzo's narrative is enlivened by frequent use of accounts by battle participants, observers and Gettysburg civilians, and his descriptions sometimes rise almost to lyricism."
--"The Seattle Times
"
"[A] rich, original work. . . . Guelzo's book enlarges the conventional battle narrative. . . . It's his expansive, rolling storytelling that makes this book so engrossing and sets Guelzo's "Gettysburg" apart from the many others. . . . Through those pages runs a thoroughly readable description of every hour of those three hellish days, in enough detail to satisfy the keenest student of tactics and courage. Some good battle histories are crackling accounts of tactical moves and soldiers' memories, stepping along as jauntily as a Sousa march. This one proceeds more like a stately symphony, solemn but enlivened by surprise digressions and meditations, taking its time, building to a finish that is familiar to all, yet seldom conducted so eloquently."
--"The Washington Post"
"This is the finest single-volume account available. . . . There is a timeless quality to "Gettysburg "that makes it special."
--"The Wilson Quarterly"
"Among the finest campaign studies of our generation. ["Gettysburg"] earns this distinction with smart and vivid writing, innovative organization, and insightful analysis that manages to synthesize the Gettysburg story in a way that will appeal to the literate novice and the seasoned Civil War history reader alike."
--"The Civil War Monitor"
"Detailed . . . accessible. . . . Civil War buff and newcomer alike will find plenty to keep them interested. . . . [Guelzo's] conclusions balance conventional wisdom with unbiased clarification and analysis."
--"The Christian Science Monitor"
"Wonderful . . . Guelzo's book is an extremely timely reminder that the American experiment has not been, as the Founders asserted, a 'self-evident truth' but in fact a highly debatable proposition that needed to be proved, not just in July 1863 at Gettysburg but on many days and in many places since."
--"The Wall Street Journal"
"Wonderfully readable . . . ["Gettysburg"] marries scholarly rigor to a sense of narrative that rivals that of a novel."
--"The Daily Beast"
"A stylish, comprehensive, and entertaining narrative . . . [Guelzo's] account is not a typical tick-tock of troop movements; the pages are soaked in rich language and vivid character studies . . . Guelzo knows the power of the telling detail."
--"MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History"
"In this consistently riveting book, Allen Guelzo makes us feel that we are hearing the epic story of the Civil War's most famous battle for the first time. . . . This is, simply, the best book about Gettysburg that has yet been written. It is hard, if not impossible, to imagine that there will ever be a better one."
--Fergus M. Bordewich, author of "America's Great Debate"
"What is there left to say about Gettysburg? In Allen Guelzo's deft, scholarly hands, plenty. "Gettysburg: The Last Invasion" is fresh, fascinating, and compellingly provocative. It is a marvelous book that deserves to be read and savored. And it deserves to be on the bookshelf of all Civil War buffs."
--Jay Winik, author of "April 1865"
"An extraordinary work of thorough scholarship combined with a lifetime of judgment about historic events. . . . Everyone interested in the decisive moment in Freedom's struggle should read Guelzo's simply extraordinary book."
--Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and coauthor of "Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War"
"Despite all that has been written about the battle of Gettysburg, Allen Guelzo provides new information and insights in this stirring account. . . . Readers will find much to think about in this book."
--James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Battle Cry of Freedom"
"Guelzo has composed a narrative that is detailed and compelling on a human level but easy to follow on an operational and tactical one . . . A triumph of source use and presentation, engaging enough for the general reader but rigorous enough for the scholar."
--"Library Journal"
"Guelzo's entry identifies key controversies, trenchantly advocates its interpretations, and rests on a sensible foundation, the confusion of a Civil War battle . . . ["Gettysburg"] reads like the battle might have been experienced . . . Guelzo demonstrates versatile historical skill in this superior treatment of Gettysburg."
--"Booklist," starred review
"Stirring . . . robust, memorable reading that will appeal to Civil War Buffs, professional historians and general readers alike."
--"Kirkus Reviews, " starred review
"Graceful . . . [Guelzo] gets up close and personal with soldiers and officers, providing a previously unseen level of intimacy with those who strategized and fought the battle . . . This exacting account of 'the last invasion' may well go down as the last word on the subject."
--"Publishers Weekly"

Praise for Allen C. Guelzo's "Gettysburg
"
Graphic and emotionally affecting . . . an extraordinarily detailed and realistic account.
"The New York Times Book Review"
This is a masterful battle study, masterfully told. . . . Engaging. . . . Guelzo s narrative is enlivened by frequent use of accounts by battle participants, observers and Gettysburg civilians, and his descriptions sometimes rise almost to lyricism.
"The Seattle Times
"
[A] rich, original work. . . . Guelzo s book enlarges the conventional battle narrative. . . . It s his expansive, rolling storytelling that makes this book so engrossing and sets Guelzo s "Gettysburg" apart from the many others. . . . Through those pages runs a thoroughly readable description of every hour of those three hellish days, in enough detail to satisfy the keenest student of tactics and courage. Some good battle histories are crackling accounts of tactical moves and soldiers memories, stepping along as jauntily as a Sousa march. This one proceeds more like a stately symphony, solemn but enlivened by surprise digressions and meditations, taking its time, building to a finish that is familiar to all, yet seldom conducted so eloquently.
"The Washington Post"
This is the finest single-volume account available. . . . There is a timeless quality to "Gettysburg "that makes it special.
"The Wilson Quarterly"
Among the finest campaign studies of our generation.["Gettysburg"] earns this distinction with smart and vivid writing, innovative organization, and insightful analysis that manages to synthesize the Gettysburg story in a way that will appeal to the literate novice and the seasoned Civil War history reader alike.
"The Civil War Monitor"
Detailed . . . accessible. . . . Civil War buff and newcomer alike will find plenty to keep them interested. . . . [Guelzo s] conclusions balance conventional wisdom with unbiased clarification and analysis.
"The Christian Science Monitor"
Wonderful . . . Guelzo s book is an extremely timely reminder that the American experiment has not been, as the Founders asserted, a self-evident truth but in fact a highly debatable proposition that needed to be proved, not just in July 1863 at Gettysburg but on many days and in many places since.
"The Wall Street Journal"
Wonderfully readable . . . ["Gettysburg"] marries scholarly rigor to a sense of narrative that rivals that of a novel.
"The Daily Beast"
A stylish, comprehensive, and entertaining narrative . . . [Guelzo s] account is not a typical tick-tock of troop movements; the pages are soaked in rich language and vivid character studies . . . Guelzo knows the power of the telling detail.
"MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History"
In this consistently riveting book, Allen Guelzo makes us feel that we are hearing the epic story of the Civil War s most famous battle for the first time. . . . This is, simply, the best book about Gettysburg that has yet been written. It is hard, if not impossible, to imagine that there will ever be a better one.
Fergus M. Bordewich, author of "America s Great Debate"
What is there left to say about Gettysburg? In Allen Guelzo s deft, scholarly hands, plenty. "Gettysburg: The Last Invasion" is fresh, fascinating, and compellingly provocative. It is a marvelous book that deserves to be read and savored. And it deserves to be on the bookshelf of all Civil War buffs.
Jay Winik, author of "April 1865"
An extraordinary work of thorough scholarship combined with a lifetime of judgment about historic events. . . . Everyone interested in the decisive moment in Freedom s struggle should read Guelzo s simply extraordinary book.
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and coauthor of "Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War"
Despite all that has been written about the battle of Gettysburg, Allen Guelzo provides new information and insights in this stirring account. . . . Readers will find much to think about in this book.
James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Battle Cry of Freedom"
Guelzo has composed a narrative that is detailed and compelling on a human level but easy to follow on an operational and tactical one . . . A triumph of source use and presentation, engaging enough for the general reader but rigorous enough for the scholar.
"Library Journal"
Guelzo s entry identifies key controversies, trenchantly advocates its interpretations, and rests on a sensible foundation, the confusion of a Civil War battle . . . ["Gettysburg"] reads like the battle might have been experienced . . . Guelzo demonstrates versatile historical skill in this superior treatment of Gettysburg.
"Booklist," starred review
Stirring . . . robust, memorable reading that will appeal to Civil War Buffs, professional historians and general readers alike.
"Kirkus Reviews, " starred review
Graceful . . . [Guelzo] gets up close and personal with soldiers and officers, providing a previously unseen level of intimacy with those who strategized and fought the battle . . . This exacting account of the last invasion may well go down as the last word on the subject.
"Publishers Weekly""

About the Author

Allen C. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America and Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, both winners of the Lincoln Prize. Guelzo's essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in publications ranging from the American Historical Review and Wilson Quarterly to newspapers such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 25483 KB
  • Print Length: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (14 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A9ET69I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #329,871 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
The sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 -- July 3, 1863) offers the opportunity to reflect upon the battle and its significance. Although every aspect of the battle has been written about extensively, attempts at understanding continue, as with any historical subject of complexity and moment. Allen Guelzo's new book "Gettysburg: The Last Invasion" (2013) offers a detailed, insightful, and beautifully written history of the Gettysburg campaign that has much to teach both readers new to the battle and readers who have studied it in detail. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College, has written broadly about the Civil War and about Abraham Lincoln. His writings tend to show an interest in ideas, including broad philosophical and religious questions. (He has also written about the early American theologian, Jonathan Edwards.)

The strength of Guelzo's book lies in its discussion of the political and philosophical importance of the Battle of Gettysburg in the preservation of American democracy. Guelzo also has interesting things to say about the battle itself. The remainder of this review elaborates these matters.

Guelzo understands the Battle of Gettysburg, and Lincoln's subsequent Gettysburg Address, as a testing of democracy first. Guelzo writes: "Gettyburg was almost univocally a battle for the Union, and it was made all the more so by Lincoln's famous address, which contains no allusion to slavery and casts the battle entirely in the context of the preservation of liberal democracy." On the underlying background, Guelzo reminds the reader at the outset that "[t]his is a book about a nineteenth century battle".
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Format: Paperback
I would not try emulating the comprehensive and enjoyable review by Robin Friedman, this is simply me just giving in to the urge to add my own modest endorsement of this book and say from a ‘Brit’s point of view why it is a book a student of the American Civil War should possess.

There are many worthy volumes written about Gettysburg (I have a few), where this ranks is that aside from an excellent and detailed account of the fighting the author caught my attention by raising a few thought provoking issues which had not occurred to me before. To cite three examples:

The political composition of the Army of The Potomac.
Allen Guelzo explains quite clearly how the influence of and loyalty to McCellan still remained amongst many of the senior officers and in turn the latent hostility or suspicion of officers who displayed Abolitionist tendencies. Thus raising the notion that the whole officer corps of that army must have seemed to Lincoln and troublesome factor in the conduct of the war. In this context Lincoln’s removal of Meade for the failure to pursue Lee’s retreating army can be judged as a political reaction to ‘another McCellan’; whether this was a fair assessment is worth a book in itself, but until I had read this account it had always seemed an act of ingratitude; however Guelzo has given another dimension to Meade’s dismissal.

The soldier’s battle.
Fictional accounts, the epic film Gettysburg and other accounts have highlighted the action at Little Round Top by the 20th Maine under Chamberlain, and by inference that this action alone was the running point in the battle Although Guelzo gives the 20th Maine its fair due, he is also careful to cite this as one of many small scale actions which played a vital role.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intensely readable account, I have already read it twice, making sense of the complex event with much background I was unaware of. Guelzo's scholarship is always impeccable but this is the account of someone who has walked and absorbed the battlefield and understands its confusing topography and the significance it imparted to the events. The maps are very good and on Kindle the references can be found so easily. One caveat is that JEB Stuarts role on the 3rd day, which would explain so much, is passed over.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book as it contains excerpts from the diary of my great great grandfather. But this book was so much more as it was wonderfully interesting and descriptive. It's a book that's hard to put down-and I admit that surprised me as it wasn't a subject I was particularly interestedin and only bought and read it because of the fact it includes a family member of mine.
I would highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
The Civil War is one of the most engaging periods in US history and Guelzo covers it's most significant battle here in detail. This is not just a simple retelling of the clash of Union and Confederate forces in southern Pennsylvania during the hot summer days of 1st-3rd July 1863, it's a history of how the battle of Gettysburg was to change the fortunes of the causes of both North and South and, indeed, the course of the war entirely.

The author begins with a brief situation of the war at the time in question. Again, this isn't just a simple narrative history of the war up until 1863. Guelzo details the state of the armies and how they evolved from state militia to national military forces. Guelzo highlights the differences between the two sides; logistical, geographical, military and also politically. There's a very interesting chapter on Confederate general Robert E. Lee and his role, not just as a military commander, but also on his symbolic significance to the Southern cause. The author also highlights some fascinating details concerning apparent tension between the states of the south; Resentment at the preference for Virginia and Virginians to form the hierarchy of the military (Army Of Northern Virginia); suspicion among the states of the commitment of North Carolina thanks to their being the last state to secede in 1861. Finally, Guelzo illustrates how and why Gettysburg became the place where the South were to 'invade' the union.

The book is divided into three sections, each dedicated to the three days the battle was fought. Naturally there is a large amount of data describing the battle tactics of both armies. Each movement of troops, each attack, repulsion, counter-attack and conclusion is covered.
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