With My Face to the Enemy is a provocative and wide-ranging anthology of essays on the Civil War - America's defining struggle and the first modern war in history. In thirty-five illuminating essays it examines the war from the perspectives critical to its outcome - the larger-than-life personalities of the important players from Lincoln to Lee, and the national strategies and key battle tactics that shaped the four-year-long crisis. Contributors include the leading lights of Civil War scholarship: James M. McPherson, Stephen W. Sears, Gary W. Gallagher, David Herbert Donald and twenty others. James M. McPherson's essays ponder three diverse, yet fascinating subjects: Abraham Lincoln's use of language and its role in his victory; Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee's failed Southern strategies; and Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs as a reflection of his superlative generalship. Stephen W. Sears, in four essays, describes the daring flanking manoeuvres of Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorville, and presents the last word on Lee's infamous 'lost order', among other topics. Other highlights include David Herbert Donald on Lincoln's early command; Gary W.
Gallagher on Lee's record before his ascension as a Southern icon; John Bowers on Chickamauga; Noah Andre Trudeau on the battle of the Wilderness; Thomas Fleming on West Point, and much more.
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(236mm x 156mm x 41mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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UK Kirkus Review »
Taking its title from the last attributed words of Colonel I E Avery, this anthology of 35 essays on 'the first modern war in history' is nothing if not comprehensive. Many of the essays have been extracted from previously published books, and all of them have already appeared in the pages of MHQ, the Quarterly Journal of Military History. They are edited by Robert Cowley, a self-confessed Civil War addict, whose introduction goes some way to explaining the continuing importance of the American Civil War to so many people in the United States, even after all the intervening years and conflicts. That interest is currently riding as high as ever in the wake of a popular TV series and a plethora of recently published books, both fact and fiction. The two sides of the incredibly savage four-year war are considered here in depth, and the different interpretations of key events make for interesting reading. Details such as Abraham Lincoln's language and its role in his victory are discussed alongside revised interpretations of the roles played by the likes of Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Ulysses S Grant, as well as lesser-known protagonists. The grim and gory daily realities of war are considered too, as we learn of the ebb and flow of victory and defeat, the human consequences of military decisions and the hardships endured by many thousands of people. There already exist, apparently, something like 70,000 titles dealing specifically with what Cowley refers to as 'the turning point in our history that will never cease turning'. For those with an interest in the subject, this collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking observations and interpretations from a variety of recognized military history authorities and civil war experts is as good a place to start as any. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Robert Cowley
Robert Cowley is the editor of What If: The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, No End Save Victory: Perspectives on World War II, as well as the founding editor of the award-winning MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. Each of these essays has appeared previously in MHQ. Cowley lives in Connecticut.