Monday, January 25, 2010

New On The Personal Book Shelf---Concise Historical Atlas Of The U.S. Civil War

Concise Historical Atlas Of The U.S. Civil War, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Oxford University Press, 2009, 112 pp., glossary, charts, bibliography, index, 52 color maps, $24.95.

In an attractive 7"x9" format, Sheehan-Dean and Oxford University Press' Concise Atlas offers 52 maps of the territorial growth from the Revolutionary War period to the presidential election of 1876. The work appears to be developed for courses that focus upon the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.

Most recent atlases on the market offer a large coffee table format of the original maps drawn for officers or on topographical features. Sheehan-Dean's atlas focus is readability, clarity and explanation. Three types of maps are in the atlas: campaign, battle and data. The data-analytical maps graphically represent the several core issues that emerged during the antebellum, war, and reconstruction eras.
Maps of industrialization, agriculture and politics establish the context with which the Civil War was initiated, fought and politically settled.

Each of the 52 maps is full page and set opposite a page of text that discusses the context of the map. Major themes of the war are broadly set forth. but do not make a direct reference to competing interpretations. Sheehan-Dean recognizes that these brief discussions are not definitive but merely a doorway into a larger and deeper dialog with primary sources and current scholarship.

The first seven maps present issues and data of the Antebellum Era; the last seven maps present issues and data of the Reconstruction Era. The remaining 38 maps are campaign, battle and political maps. For example there is a Dissent (1861-1865) map, and Effect of the Emancipation Proclamation map, a Confederate States congressional Elections Map (Fall 1863) and a Union congressional elections map (Fall, 1864).

Concise Historical Atlas Of The U.S. Civil War fine resource for the Advanced Placement instructor and student, undergraduate student, and Civil War readers.

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