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Publisher's Summary

This New York Times best seller from noted historian and acclaimed author Jay Winik forever changes common perceptions of the final month of the American Civil War.
April 1865 could have destroyed the nation. Instead it saved it. As April begins, the battered Confederate capital of Richmond falls to the Union Army. Robert E. Lee surrenders his forces to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox one week later. In good spirits and sensing the war's end, President Abraham Lincoln attends a comedic play - and is assassinated. Simultaneously, Secretary of State William Seward is brutally attacked but survives. Along with fears that remaining Confederate soldiers will break into guerrilla bands, these events threaten to plunge America into turmoil. But it is not to be.
Winik's engrossing narrative sweeps listeners along from one incredible moment to the next until, remarkably, peace is reached. A provocative and deeply researched account, this modern classic is a major reassessment of the 30 most pivotal days in United States history.
©2001 Jay Winik (P)2001 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By LAUNA STOUT- Children'sBooks.BellaOnline on 05-15-17

Excellence undone

April 1865 is a distinguished, excellent, scholarly work, and I applaud the author's research and writing skills. I would recommend it to any friend and scholar. My understanding of the Civil War, the leaders of the union and the Confederacy, and the environment and circumstances of that time have increased considerably. I thank and applaud the author for his efforts in the creation of this excellent work.

That said, it must be noted that the author's decision to narrate his own book was a bad one. Unfortunately the author never learned how to pronounce the single syllable in definite article "a." In American English, the word rhymes with "huh,"not with "hey/hay," a rule of pronunciation most of us have learned by the time we enter the fifth grade. Hence, the brilliance of the scholarship was lost in the elementary narration. Having to listen to the incorrect pronunciation of such an elementary word 1000 or 2000 or 5000 times was a real challenge.

But I would like to reiterate that the book itself - the research that went into it and the level of writing - is superb. I thank the author for writing it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bruce Nichols on 09-17-15

Excellent re-interpretation of history, but...

What made the experience of listening to April 1865 the most enjoyable?

The interesting new perspective on the end of the Civil War and how decisions by a few individuals trapped in a tragic episode led to a better outcome long term.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Too many to name.

What does Jay Winik bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I know he's the author.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Winik is brilliant, and this book very enriching to anyone interested in the Civil War. It was, however, startling to hear him mispronounce Chickamauga as Chickamagua and Rosecrans as Rosencrans. And his description of the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth appeared to misplace the Mason Dixon Line. But these are quibbles.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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