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United No More!

Stories of the Civil War

Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
Continuing from their successful collaboration on Victory or Death! Stories of the American Revolution (2003), Rappaport and Verniero bring the Civil War down to size through the stories of seven actual people involved in or affected by the war. Stories include Julia Ward Howe and the writing of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"; Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House; Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address; naval commander David Farragut; and the Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry, balancing perspectives of North and South, men and women, black and white. Readers will feel a part of the history writing process through the authors' comments on how they went about their research; how they used diaries, letters, newspaper articles and books; what details and dialogue were fictionalized and why; and how they used first-person accounts where possible. The bibliography is excellent and includes books and websites for young readers. Maps are large and easy to read, and occasional illustrations complement the text nicely. A terrific history for the intended audience. (introduction, timelines, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, Acknowledgments, Index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Michael Chesson, professor of history, University of Massachusetts/Boston:"[The authors] make old stories fresh and exciting ... . This book is a passionate and moving account of the great American Civil War, the most terrible conflict that our nation has ever endured, because we were fighting against one another."