Friday, September 28, 2018

Booknotes: A Fierce Glory

New Arrival:
A Fierce Glory: Antietam - The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery by Justin Martin (Da Capo, 2018).

The exploration in books, essays, and articles of links between Lincoln and Antietam are probably second only to Gettysburg among the great battles of the war, but there's always room for another viewpoint. In A Fierce Glory, "Justin Martin, an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction, renders this landmark event in a revealing new way. More than in previous accounts, Lincoln is laced deeply into the story. Antietam represents Lincoln at his finest, as the grief-racked president--struggling with the recent death of his son, Willie--summoned the guile necessary to manage his reluctant general, George McClellan. The Emancipation Proclamation would be the greatest gambit of the nation's most inspired leader."

Martin also looks beyond Lincoln and the EP to other legacies of the battle.  "And, in fact, the battle's impact extended far beyond the field; brilliant and lasting innovations in medicine, photography, and communications were given crucial real-world tests. No mere gunfight, Antietam rippled through politics and society, transforming history."

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't say that I learned a lot, but I enjoyed it; Martin referred to the Louisiana Tigers' rambunctious ways as "combat jambalaya," and to McClellan as an "alpha rooster."

    Joel Manuel
    Baton Rouge LA

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