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The Army of the Potomac is one of the finest Civil War series ever written. Bruce Catton, the former editor of American Heritage, was a natural story teller and this series is one of his two master works; the last book in the series was awarded a Pulitzer. The Army of the Potomac focuses on the development & growth of the officers and men of the federal army, unusual in civil war histories which tend to focus on the Confederacy which, more often than not treat the federals as a backdrop for the confederacy. This series explains why the larger, better equipped federal army struggled so fiercely against the confederacy and often fell so short, avoiding the trap of lionizing the outsized personalities of R.E.Lee and T.J.Jackson which overshadow their early federal counterparts. He also shows that it wasn't so much the brilliance of Gen's Lee & Jackson (not a Napolean in sight) but rather a broken federal system that turned the rebellion in Virginia, into a four year bloody slog. The Army of the Potomac pays tribute to the million or so men who actually fought the war to hold the republic together.
Unfortunately, this wonderful series is butchered by a dismal reader. Mr Collins has no sense of dramatic timing while telling the tale of this most dramatic of wars, his elocution is forced, and words are pronounced as if delivering a lesson to a grade school full of bored students. There isn't a touch of natural timing in his delivery and I wound up speeding up the recording in order to make the listening tolerable. I might have returned it had I not waited nearly 10 years for an audio version of this series.
Final summary, this series is a civil war cannon ranking among the greats. The reader, not so much.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Painful narration ruined what should have been an otherwise great book by a great author.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful