New York Times best-selling author James M. McPherson is America's leading Civil War historian. In this powerful book he reconstructs the gripping Battle of Antietam. Compared to the Normandy invasion in World War II, Antietam produced four times as many casualties. It remains the single bloodiest day in the history of American combat.
Through historical newspaper accounts and the personal letters of soldiers, the events leading up to the battle and the battle itself are stunningly recreated. You will enter the mind of Robert E. Lee as he makes the fateful decision to cross the Potomac River and take the offensive. You will feel the frustration of Abraham Lincoln as he struggles to convince George McClellan to fight. And you will stand side-by-side with foot soldiers as the peaceful Maryland countryside explodes into terrifying, unforgettable carnage. In vivid detail and with remarkable insight, McPherson makes a convincing case that Antietam was the "battle that changed the course of the Civil War."
The “Pivotal Moments in American History” series seeks to unite the old and the new history, combining the insights and techniques of recent historiography with the power of traditional narrative. Each title has a strong narrative arc with drama, irony, suspense, and – most importantly – great characters who embody the human dimension of historical events. The general editors of “Pivotal Moments” are not just historians; they are popular writers themselves, and, in two cases, Pulitzer Prize winners: David Hackett Fischer, James M. McPherson, and David Greenberg. We hope you like your American History served up with verve, wit, and an eye for the telling detail!
"McPherson convincingly establishes the Battle of Antietam as the [Civil War]'s pivotal moment militarily, politically and morally." (
"A fine study." ( Library Journal)
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