1861 by Adam Goodheart
The Civil War Awakening

86%

10 Critic Reviews

Goodheart, a historian and journalist...makes sophisticated use of a broad spectrum of sources for an evocative reinterpretation of the Civil War's beginnings.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began.

1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents’ faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.

The book introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes—among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Adam Goodheart takes us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at this moment of ultimate crisis and decision.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Adam Goodheart

See more books from this Author
Adam Goodheart is a historian, journalist, and travel writer. His articles have appeared in National Geographic, Outside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, and he is a regular columnist for The New York Times's acclaimed Civil War blog, Disunion. He lives in Washington, D.C., and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he is the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by Vintage. 498 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on May 15 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for 1861
All: 10 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 14 2012

Beautifully written and thoroughly original—quite unlike any other Civil War book out there.

Read Full Review of 1861: The Civil War Awakening | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Feb 28 2011

Goodheart, a historian and journalist...makes sophisticated use of a broad spectrum of sources for an evocative reinterpretation of the Civil War's beginnings.

Read Full Review of 1861: The Civil War Awakening | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Excellent
on Feb 22 2012

Goodheart not only gives a cogent explanation of the schisms that made compromise impossible and led to the conflict, but he does so in style. 1861: The Civil War Awakening is a damned good read.

Read Full Review of 1861: The Civil War Awakening | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent

...1861 is essential reading for those who wish to learn more about the Civil War’s crucial first months.

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NJ.com

Good
on Apr 24 2011

Goodheart, a historian and journalist...maintains narrative force through a series of compelling vignettes...

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Jacksonville.com

Good
on May 28 2011

This is the beginning of...an event that will certainly spawn...many more books. Although "1861: The Civil War Awakening" is one of the first, this highly recommended look at the war's beginnings will hold its own.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Good
on Apr 17 2011

1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields.

Read Full Review of 1861: The Civil War Awakening

The Root

Below average
on Jun 12 2011

It's the old "brother versus brother" story in which none of the brothers are black. Goodheart signals his own (white) perspective early.

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Civil War News

Excellent

...a beautifully written narrative, sharp in characterization, graphic in descriptions, and rich in details.

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HARVARD MAGAZINE

Excellent

Even for those of us very familiar with the period...it is refreshing to have them presented in this fashion, and Goodheart’s narrative draws connections that might otherwise be missed.

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Reader Rating for 1861
78%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 347 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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