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The American Civil War

By: Gary W. Gallagher,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Gary W. Gallagher
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Publisher's Summary

Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns, little-known streams, and obscure meadows in the American countryside into names we will always remember. In those great battles, those streams ran red with blood - and the United States was truly born.

If you've ever wanted to understand the Civil War, this series of 48 startlingly evocative lectures by a leading Civil War historian can serve as both an ideal single course or a solid starting point for further exploration - a richly detailed examination of how this great conflict affected every person in America. For you'll gain not only a deep knowledge of what happened, but new insights into why.

You'll learn how both sides' armies were recruited, equipped, and trained, and about the hard lot of those they took prisoner. You'll hear how soldiers on each of those sides dealt with the rigors of camp life, campaigns, and the terror of combat. And you'll understand how slaves and their falling masters responded to the advancing war, as well as the desperate price paid by the families so many left behind.

Though this series of lectures goes far beyond a simple examination of battles and generals, it also offers detailed analyses of the strategic and tactical dimensions of the Civil War's most important campaigns. At the same time, it never forgets that the conflict involved far more than pins on a map - and indeed claimed a greater cost in human lives than all other American wars combined.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses

What listeners say about The American Civil War

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Excellent but better post-production needed

I've found this to be really comprehensive and detailed. I'm Australian but love history and wanted a more nuanced understanding of this period of American history and have not been disappointed. Gallagher is incredibly knowledgable and his delivery is animated and engaged. My only issue is the lack of really good post-production on sound quality. It's recorded live and so you can hear every turn of the lecture pages, the brushing of his clothes on the microphone ( I suspect it's a lapel mic) and the volume isn't consistent. It also means you can hear every swallow, cough, throat clear and every time he drinks water - I know this might sound overly picky, but if you are someone who finds mouth noises off-putting then this is very distracting. I couldn't listen to it on headphones, the noises were just too much. These could have been dealt with during the post-production and editing process.

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Illuminating

47 lectures on aspects of the American Civil War may sound a lot, but Gallagher’s impressive and Illuminating series left me wanting to hear more from him. I enjoyed the series and am sad it’s come to an end.

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2 people found this helpful

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Excellent, highly recommended

This may be a series of recorded lectures so occasionally you do hear the narrator cough to clear his throat or the audience clap BUT that in no way detracts from an excellent series. The narrator Gary Gallagher clearly knows his subject and is passionate about it, he manages to convey this is a clear, succinct, easy to follow manner. The course is also full of other titbits of info eg why American money is called greenbacks, where the expression 'wouldn't give a continental' came from. The written material is a bit light on information cf to the lectures but again that is no big deal because the lectures are the jewel in the crown. Not only is the war itself covered but there are interesting lectures on how the war was financed, the draft and women in the war amongst others. Anyone with any interest will enjoy this, as each lecture is 30 minutes it makes it easy to dip in and out of it.

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terrific history

what a fine series of lectures on a huge topic for America which ended up affecting world history because a divided US with at least two countries and possibly more would never have affected world events the way it has Mr Gallagher this was a superb series of lectures. Eric frykberg wellington new Zealand

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faultless

well worth the time. learned a lot and inspired further learning great narrator fantastic delivery and contagious enthusiasm for the subject

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highly recommended

loved every minute of it. full of info and very balanced presentation. highly recommended if you want to learn more about the civil war

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awesome

fantastic set of lectures. needed a bit more post-production editing to filter out some of the background/mouth sounds though.

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The American Civil War

This is a great course that provides an overview and understanding of the conflict, its causes and legacy.

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Very well told vision of the civil war

The scope and depth of information illuminates this major event in USA history. I greatly enjoyed finally understanding the scope of the civil war. Well worth listening too

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Great broad overview

Gallagher is a great historian. Very informed and knowledgeable. Impartial. He holds strong convictions that he can back up that really help the listener understand the true crux of the matter. I’d say this series and also Battle Cry of Freedom are the two best overviews of the war I’ve come across.

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