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 Civil War Books Abound (Part II)

Book Review

Thanks to Harper Publishers all matter of takes on the Civil War are available through the publication and in some cases re-release of classics dealing with the war between the states. For those with an abiding interest in the topic, these tomes are required. For the rest of us - -the books are informative and they fill in so many blanks.

One of the most unusual in the collection is “The Biography of a Writer” by Fred Kaplan (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 406 pages, paper). This well crafted effort showcases President Abraham Lincoln in all his masterly and writerly roles. ILLUMINATING.

“Bloody Crimes” by James Swanson (Morrow, $27.99, 464 pages) is a mother lode of information focused on the last days of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. The genre is historical true-crime epic and Swanson owns the patent to this kind of work. BRILLIANT.

Swanson also wrote The New York Times bestseller “Manhunt”   (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 444 pages). The book is a page-turner, a work of scholarship and also detective story writing as we are there living through an hour-by-hour account as eyewitness to the greatest manhunt in American history. JUST BRILLIANT.

“General Sherman’s Christmas” by Stanley  Weintraub (Smithsonian Books,$24.99, 238 pages) showcases how Lincoln’s troops were able to prevail in the battle for Savannah, a time residents were anxiously preparing for Christmas.  ENGROSSING.

“Reconstruction” by Eric Foner (Perrenial Classics, $23.99, 690 pages) is a masterwork focusing as its sub-title states on “America’s Unfinished Revolution  1863-1877. ” Consciousness raising, written with a scholar’s eye and a historian’s passion  -  -“Reconstruction” is a gem of a book well worth reading by anyone interested in the aftermath of the Civil War. INVALUABLE.

Bookends:  “I am Brilliant” by Jennifer Craig is the slimmest of books with all kinds of how-to and brilliance crammed into its pages as the author, a child therapist  among other things, shows us all how to uncover how beauty and brilliance are “inside gifts.” NOTEWORTHY. 

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer/travel.htm.

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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