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The Civil War for Dummies [Paperback]

By Keith D. Dickson (Author)
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Item description for The Civil War for Dummies by Keith D. Dickson...

From the events leading up to the conflict to its aftermath, this comprehensive overview of the American Civil War offers detailed accounts of the major battles and military campaigns and discusses the impact of the war on American society, the weapons of war and their applications, key events of the conflict, major historic sites, and more. Original.

Publishers Description
The Civil War was America's trial by fire; its battles forged the nation we know today. We're still fascinated with it – the national reckoning with slavery, the legendary generals and leaders, the epic and bloody clashes of armies, the impact on the daily lives of ordinary people. We visit its battlefields – mostly idyllic patches of countryside near small towns and creeks – where more Americans died in combat than in all other wars combined, except for World War Two. And we tell its stories – of last charges, brother fighting brother, imprisonment and emancipation, and tragedy and rebirth. It is our country's epic; the story of how we became who we are, and what price we paid.

The Civil War For Dummies is your complete introduction to this seminal conflict. Eschewing tedious historical pondering and military micro-analysis, this fun and information-rich guide gives an accurate overview of the event, from the war's causes through the fighting to the aftermath. Inside you'll discover:

  • 1850-1860: what led to war
  • First Bull Run: illusions lost
  • Antietam: the bloodiest day
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Heroes and goats of each major battle
  • Jackson's Valley Campaign
  • Sherman's March to the Sea
  • Surrender at Appomattox
  • And much more

Full of sidebars and illustrations, The Civil War For Dummies brings history to life with personalities, factoids, battle reports, strategic maps, and “what ifs.” In addition to the military and political history, you'll also find out about:

  • The African American experience in the war
  • Women and the Civil War
  • Native Americans and the war
  • The life of the common soldier
  • Banking and finance systems and the war
  • “Firsts” that make the Civil War history's first modern war
  • Civil War food
  • Civil War tourism: the best battlefields to visit, and how to get the most out of your trip

Written in an accessible style so you can start reading at any point in the story, The Civil War For Dummies makes a great cornerstone for learning about this violent and compelling chapter of American history.

Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at!

Item Specifications...

Studio: For Dummies
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 7.34" Height: 0.86"
Weight:   1.31 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 2001
Publisher   For Dummies
ISBN  0764552449  
ISBN13  9780764552441  
UPC  785555026834  

Availability  0 units.

More About Keith D. Dickson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Keith D. Dickson is an associate professor of Military Studies at the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University. He earned his Ph.D. in American history at the University of Virginia and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets).

Keith D. Dickson currently resides in Virginia Beach, in the state of Virginia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Historical Study > Reference
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Civil War for Dummies?

informative if you get by the southern bias   Mar 5, 2008
Simple and helps the reader understand the order of things that happened in the civil war and the major battles of the Civil War. Seems to think the south should have/could have won the war...and having "only" a half a million people in slavery wasn't really that bad.

Also doesn't seem to understand that in war things don't always go as planned and the heros and goat section is a bit over simplistic. Still it is easy to read and worth the time for anyone interested in the civil war.
Read This and Remain a Dummy?  Feb 3, 2007

In the case of at least one important Civil War commander,the author, regardless of his impressive credentials, makes some astonishingly erroneous mistakes of both fact and interpretation.

Regarding Confederate General John Bell Hood, among other glaring errors, Dickson writes that after the disastrous 1864 Tennessee Campaign and retreat from Nashville, only 5,000 Confederate troops remained in the shattered Army of Tennessee. Records confirm that the Army of Tennessee numbered 21,700 (18,682 effective infantry and approximately 3,000 cavalry of Forrest's command) in Tupelo, Mississippi in Jan. 1865 after the retreat. These forces were later dispersed among various locations, with 5,000 infantry sent to North Carolina. The author suggests to the reader that these 5,000 soldiers were all that remained after the defeat at Nashville.

Also, the author, while harshly criticizing Gen. Hood at every opportunity, states unambiguously that Hood single-handedly ruined the Confederate attack at Cassville, Georgia in June 1864 by incorrectly positioning his corps to face a nonexistent Union threat. This is completely false. Research by respected Civil War scholars such as Richard McMurry and Dr. Stephen Davis confirm Gen. Hood's assertion that a Union force of approximately 1,500 cavalry approached Hood's Corps from the right flank at the commencement of Army of Tennessee commander Joe Johnston's planned Cassville attack, and Hood wisely repositioned his forces to face the threat. As Dr. Davis wrote in his book "Atlanta Will Fall", for Hood to have ignored an approaching Union force of unknown size would have been "foolish in the extreme."

I realize that The Civil War for Dummies is not supposed to be an in-depth scholastic and tactical study of the Civil War, but the book should at least be factually accurate and any commentary ought to be reasonable.

Unfortunately, regarding Gen. John Bell Hood, Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, and the 1864 Tennessee Campaign, the book's content seems to be little more than a "Cliff's Notes" style condensed version of author Wiley Sword's widely discredited book on Hood and his Tennessee Campaign, "Embrace an Angry Wind: The Confederacy's Last Hurrah"

As related to the subject of Gen. Hood, readers of "Civil War for Dummies" will probably remain so.
Just the Facts  Jan 9, 2007
I was looking for a good book to refresh my memory of the Civil War. This book gave me an unbiased account from beginning to end. It hits the important points of the war without weighing you down with tons of details. This is a great book for the casual historian, but not necessarily the hard core Civil War junkie.
The author leans heavily towards the racist White South and misrepresents Union personalities. Southerners are "brave heroes" while Union men are "one-time store clerks and errand boys". It's hard to believe that the author is a loyal American.
not a good study guide  Jun 28, 2006
I bought this book to study for the DANTES test on Civil war and reconstruction. It was of minimal help. Its a great book if what you are interested in is battle plans, tactics, and a pretty good analysis of each and every battle. The DANTES exam just wanted to know who fought what battle and where, and had questions on Copperheads, fireaters, KKK,and the Lincoln and Johnson administrations that are only glanced it in this book. This is a book about the Civil WAR. To review for the DANTES test find a book about the Civil War and the Civil War ERA.
Since this is the first book I've ever read that was exclusively about the Civil War, I wasn't too sure if 90% of the Southern Generals really were war geniuses and 90% of the Union Generals were compelete idiots, which is how it seems in this author's analysis. The South received more complimentary language than the North. I felt that the author was slightly biassed toward the South.

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