The War That Forged a Nation

  • by James McPherson
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

More than 140 years ago, Mark Twain observed that the Civil War had "uprooted institutions that were centuries old, changed the politics of a people, transformed the social life of half the country, and wrought so profoundly upon the entire national character that the influence cannot be measured short of two or three generations". In fact five generations have passed, and Americans are still trying to measure the influence of the immense fratricidal conflict that nearly tore the nation apart.
In The War that Forged a Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson considers why the Civil War remains so deeply embedded in our national psyche and identity. The drama and tragedy of the war, from its scope and size - an estimated death toll of 750,000, far more than the rest of the country's wars combined - to the nearly mythical individuals involved - Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson - help explain why the Civil War remains a topic of interest. But the legacy of the war extends far beyond historical interest or scholarly attention.
McPherson ultimately proves the impossibility of understanding the issues of our own time unless we first understand their roots in the era of the Civil War. From racial inequality and conflict between the North and South to questions of state sovereignty or the role of government in social change - these issues, McPherson shows, are as salient and controversial today as they were in the 1860s.
Thoughtful, provocative, and authoritative, The War That Forged a Nation looks anew at the reasons America's Civil War has remained a subject of intense interest for the past century and a half and affirms the enduring relevance of the conflict for America today.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellence in book form

I loved this book! I feel as though my knowledge of the civil war has grown significantly!
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- Joshua

Surprisingly Well Done!

As an amateur historian and Civil War buff, I'v read enough books on the subject that material can become repetitive. That is to say, we're only talking about 4 years here so there is always a fear of regurgitation to some extent. There has to be. Under this title, i didn't have that sense. Though I have heard a few of the anecdotes, I was pleasantly surprised with how it was presented and how each chapter, though not building on previous chapters, melds together nicely, and makes for an excellent read!

James McPherson is no stranger to the subject which makes me wonder how many quotes I've read in other books came from these works? We all know how the war ends, who the villains are, who the poor generalship originates from and how the Great Emancipator succumbs to a radical. But the way the information is provided is refreshing in comparison to several other works I've read.

And Grover Gardner does and excellent job too! His voiced inflection is perfect and his delivery is effortless which has me gravitating towards most of his narrations. This is a pretty darn good book and well worth your time. You will not be bored in the least.
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- Rick

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-30-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios