To Make Men Free by Richard Croker
A Novel of the Battle of Antietam

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Originally published by HarperCollins, “To Make Men Free” is what the author describes as “unfiction.” There are no fictitious events or characters (sorry, Rhett and Scarlett). “History is an action/adventure tale,” Croker says, “Generally told with the action and adventure taken out. All I do is put it back.”
It was 150 years ago that President Abraham Lincoln anguished over the issue of ending slavery in America once and for all time. It was in the fall of 1862 that two magnificent armies collided in a small Maryland town in a battle that remains to this day the bloodiest single day in American history. These are the stories of brave Americans on both sides who fought the Battle of Antietam to settle that all-important issue.

"Documentary filmmaker Croker skillfully fictionalizes a meticulously researched account of the battle, the campaign that preceded it and its momentous political fallout that is more comprehensive than many nonfiction treatments.
His combination of period detail, gripping battle scenes and psychological insight bring the epic to life.”

“A Capable imaging of America’s bloodiest battle... Croker delivers a tale that would make Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote proud… A solid debut…well researched and delivered.”

About Richard Croker

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Richard Croker is an independent documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on TBS, The Learning Channel, and the Discovery Digital Networks. A native of the South whose great-grandfathers fought for the Confederacy, Croker lives in Marietta, Georgia.
Published April 5, 2012 by William Morrow. 515 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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late in the narrative, Lincoln—who is as besieged as any general in the field—quashes a small rebellion in the making after hearing two midlevel officers discuss the wisdom of negotiating a peace by allowing slavery to endure, even as poor headache-plagued George McClellan threatens mutiny before...

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Publishers Weekly

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Croker's didactic impulses occasionally get the better of him—one scene is inserted mainly to correct a common mispronunciation of a general's name—and his determination to convey the entire range of perspectives on Antietam sometimes clutters the stage with incidental figures.

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