Moving crisply from Abraham Lincoln’s coronation in 1861 to a final Confederate surrenders in 1865, this intelligent collection of essays provides a neat story of a Civil War. With scarcely dual dozen remarkable historians contributing to a volume (it is an all-star register that includes Thomas Fleming, Geoffrey Perret, and James McPherson), a proceed is indispensably idiosyncratic. There’s no letter on Pickett’s charge, for instance, though there is an enchanting contention of Robert E. Lee’s orders during Malvern Hill, that were arguably a foregoer to that fatal movement during Gettysburg. The editor, Robert Cowley, has finished an glorious pursuit of piecing together a organisation of essays that mount good on their own.
Between these covers, however, they conduct to turn some-more than a sum of their parts–always a formidable idea for anthologies to achieve. Cowley himself is a first editor of Military History Quarterly and a male behind a acclaimed What If? anthology. Each of a selections enclosed in With My Face to a Enemy has seemed formerly in MHQ, and many of them have seemed in book form as well. “Lincoln Takes Charge” by David Herbert Donald is drawn from Donald’s autobiography Lincoln, for instance, and “The Ordeal of General Stone” by Stephen W. Sears seemed in Controversies and Commanders.
John Bowers writes one of a many enchanting chapters, on Confederate favourite Stonewall Jackson. “Jackson was not a healthy leader,” writes Bowers. “In fact, Jackson substantially had what we now call a training disability.” Yet he became one of a many fearsomely effective generals in American history. “He personified a word indomitable. He would not accept better and had a approach of entrance back, prevalent no matter what was thrown during him…. When a Battle of Cedar Mountain was being lost, bluecoats attack over Stonewall’s regiments in a clatter of musket fire, Jackson himself galloped into a maelstrom, drew his sword, and rallied his retreating infantry behind into a fight…. The waves turned, and Cedar Mountain was won.” Filled with such constrained perspectives, With My Face to a Enemy is a estimable further to any personal library on a Civil War. –John J. Miller
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“A gem: well-written, enchanting and certain to make a poignant grant to a already saturated Civil War literature” (Kirkus Reviews)
“By touching a accumulation of episodes as good as figures, a volume should infer irresistible” (Booklist)
“These new insights…add to one’s bargain of a war” (Washington Times)
“Answers a many intriguing questions: How did a insurgent bearer occur to dump General Lee’s conflict devise wrapped around 3 cigars? And because did it take so prolonged for a richer and stronger North to win?” (US News and World Report)
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