History Books

Andersonville

By MacKinlay Kantor

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"Before there were The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals there was Andersonville. MacKinlay Kantor won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1955 for this novel, an epic account of the notorious prison camp in Macon County, Georgia. Though many of his characters are fictional, many are based on historical figures. Even some of the minor characters who appear as suffering prisoners of war are historical. Writing in the early fifties it was perhaps inevitable that Kantor drew subtle echoes of the Nazi concentration camps as he told this grim story of the greatest of Confederate war crimes. Kantor spent most of his life studying and writing about the Civil War. His emphasis was always on the small-town, ordinary citizens confronted with the horrors of Civil War.'

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Lincoln, a Novel

By Gore Vidal

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Lincoln is the cornerstone of Gore Vidal's fictional American chronicle, which includes Burr, 1876Empire, Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and The Golden Age.

"It opens early on a frozen winter morning in 1861, when President-elect Abraham Lincoln slips into Washington, flanked by two bodyguards. The future president is in disguise, for there is talk of a plot to murder him. During the next four years there will be numerous plots to murder this man who has sworn to unite a disintegrating nation. Isolated in a ramshackle White House in the center of a proslavery city, Lincoln presides over a fragmenting government as Lee's armies beat at the gates. In this profoundly moving novel, a work of epic proportions and intense human sympathy, Lincoln is observed by his loved ones and his rivals. The cast of characters is almost Dickensian: politicians, generals, White House aides, newspapermen, Northern and Southern conspirators, amiably evil bankers, and a wife slowly going mad. Vidal's portrait of the president is at once intimate and monumental, stark and complex, drawn with the wit, grace, and authority of one of the great historical novelists."

Part of Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series.

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The Quilt That Walked To Golden

By Sandra Dallas and Nanette Simonds

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Quilts fill this narrative re-creation of the history of the West from the time of the early pioneers to the present day. The purpose of quilts and the art of quilting provide a window into the lives of women, their friendships, and their sorrows.

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Stitched From the Soul: Slave Quilts From the Antebellum South

By Gladys-Marie Fry

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The beautiful illustrations in this book offer a glimpse into the lives and creativity of African American quilters during the era of slavery. It highlights many of the finest and most interesting examples of the quilts, woven coverlets, counterpanes, rag rugs, and crocheted artifacts attributed to slave women and men.
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Southern Quilts: Surviving Relics Of the Civil War

By Bets Ramsey and Merikay Waldvogel

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This is a wonderful history of the tradition and techniques of quilt making in the antebellum South. It includes lots of color photographs and the oral histories of 29 Southern quilts that survived the Civil War.

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Hidden in Plain View: The Secret Story Of Quilts And the Underground Railroad

By Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard

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Jacqueline Tobin tells the story African American quilter Ozella Williams handed down to her, describing how slaves made coded quilts and used them to navigate their escape on the Underground Railroad.

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Civil War Women: Their Quilts, Their Roles, and Activities for Re-enactors

By Barbara Brackman

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History buffs as well as quilters will enjoy these accounts of quilting-related experiences during the Civil War from women in both the North and the South. Brackman also includes instructions and full-size patterns for nine projects adapted from Civil War quilts, as well as suggestions for using today's reproduction fabrics.

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Eye of the Raven

By Eliot Pattison

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In 1760, with the aid of the Indian Shaman Conawago, Duncan McCallum has begun to heal from the massacre of his Highland clan by the British. His new life is shattered when he and Conawago discover a dying Virginian officer nailed to an Indian shrine tree. To their horror, the authorities arrest Conawago and schedule his hanging. As Duncan begins a desperate search for the truth, he finds himself in a maelstrom of deception and violence.
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Gods and Generals

By Jeff Shaara

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"...Jeff Shaara traces the lives, passions, and careers of the great military leaders from the first gathering clouds of the Civil War. Here is Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a hopelessly by-the-book military instructor and devout Christian who becomes the greatest commander of the Civil War; Winfield Scott Hancock, a captain of quartermasters who quickly establishes himself as one of the finest leaders of the Union army; Joshua Chamberlain, who gives up his promising academic career and goes on to become one of the most heroic soldiers in American history; and Robert E. Lee, never believing until too late that a civil war would ever truly come to pass."

 

On Film:
Historical fiction doesn't get any closer to home than this! The Gods and Generals movie is a must see for locals.

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Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine

By Ira M. Rutkow

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"...surgeon and medical historian Rutkow argues that it is impossible to grasp the realities of the Civil War without an awareness of the state of medicine at the time. The use of ether and chloroform remained crude, and they were often unavailable--so many surgical procedures were performed without anesthesia, on the battleground or in a field hospital. This meant that "clinical concerns were often of less consequence than the swiftness of the surgeon's knife." Also, the existence of pathogenic microorganisms was still unknown, as was disinfection. From the soldiers who endured the ravages of combat to the government officials who directed the war machine, from the good Samaritans who organized aid commissions to the nurses who cared for the wounded, this book presents a story of suffering, politics, character, and, ultimately, healing."
(From the publisher's description)

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