Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Forthcoming: Library of America's Series of Primary Sources, Volume One

The Civil War: The First Year of The Conflict Told by Those Who Lived It Brooks Simpson, Stephen Sears, Sheehan-Dean Aaron (Editors), Library of America, chronology, notes, index, hardcover, 680 pages, $37.50.

An extraordinary collection of primary source writings and essential for Civil War enthusiasts. Nearly 125 selections span the first 14 months of the conflict, November 1860 through December 1861. Contributors include a Confederate surgeon describing the Battle of Belmont Missouri, a Federal 2nd lieutenant describing the Battle of Ball's Bluff Virginia, Sam Huston's anti-secession speech, Alex Stephen's Cornerstone speech to the Confederate Congress, Elizabeth Blair Lee's description of wartime Washington D.C, Sallie Brock's description of wartime inflation in Richmond, and a slave's recollection of the Federal capture of South Carolina's Sea Islands.

Battles, military intrigues, visits to both White Houses, life in wartime camps and cities are set forth in chronological order. The text is enhanced by both brief descriptions of author before the text and more extended descriptions at the rear of the book of the authors. The lack of illustrations and maps in no way detracts of the quality and achievements of the collection. American Civil enthusiasts, such as reenactors and educators, will be turning to this series in order to capture the human voices of the war.

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