18 March 2011

Imprint Friday: Remembering the U.S. Civil War

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Harper Perennial. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

This week I'm going to do something a little bit different. As many of you know, 2011 marks the 150 anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. In recognition of this, Harper Perennial and its sister imprints at HarperCollins are publishing several new titles on the war and are reissuing some books that were published previously. This Imprint Friday is all about the American Civil War in books at Harper Perennial.

First up is Howard Zinn's The Other Civil War: Slavery and Struggle in Civil War America. This compilation "of essays recounts the history of American labor, free and not free, in the years leading up to and during the Civil War. [Zinn] offers an alternative yet necessary account of that terrible nation-defining epoch."

The pieces in The Other Civil War were originally published in Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States, which is available as an audiobook. (ISBN: 9780062079008)

Paul Johnson's Civil War America: 1850-1870 is another compilation drawn from a larger work, this time Johnson's A History of the American People. (ISBN: 9780062076250) Here's part of the publisher's summary:

Enlivened with the author's trademark scholarship, verve, and intelligence, this vivid, concise history revisits the conflict that tore a nation asunder and provides portraits of the people who played essential roles in the bloody drama. [It] examines the factors that led to the devastating rift in the years before the fighting—and recounts the troubled healing a wounded nation underwent in the years after the final shot was fired.
For lighter but fact-filled look at the war, you might want to try Bill Fawcett's How to Lose the Civil War: Military Mistakes of the War Between the States. Fawcett exposes the errors and blunders made by both North and South, from Lincoln's inability to find a general who would engage the enemy to Lee's ordering of Pickett's charge.

Through Fawcett, we learn that the heroes and respected leaders of the American Civil War were far from infallible. (ISBN: 9780061807275)

On sale this week is an updated edition of Emory M. Thomas's Confederate Nation: 1861-1865. This study, now with a new introduction, is considered one of the best examinations of the South during the Civil War years. (ISBN: 9780062061027) According to the publisher's summary,
Thomas's masterful account delivers a clear analysis of the origins of secession, a gripping narrative of the military campaigns that shaped the Civil War, and a compelling portrait of the Southern people during the country's most turbulent era.
For biography fans and those particularly interested in Lincoln, Harper Perennial is reissuing two works by Stephen B. Oates: With Malice Toward None: A Biography of Abraham Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln: The Man behind the Myths. Together, these biographies offer the definitive picture of our sixteenth president from his humble beginnings to his rise to the White House and from his personal life to his struggles to keep the nation whole.

The publisher notes that in the "award-winning" With Malice Toward None, "Lincoln steps forward out of the shadow of myth as a recognizable, fully drawn American whose remarkable life continues to inspire and inform us today." (ISBN: 9780060924713)

In Abraham Lincoln (ISBN: 9780060924720), Oates
exposes the human side of the great and tragic president—including his depression, his difficulties with love, and his troubled and troubling attitudes about slavery—while also confronting the many legends that have arisen around "Honest Abe." Oates throughout raises timely questions about what the Lincoln mythos reveals about the American people.
Other titles coming out this month are
Harper Perennial's remembrance of the American Civil War offers something for everyone, from the history buff and to the biography fan. Readers who are participating in the War through the Generations: Civil War Challenge will surely find something of interest here. And for readers outside the United States and for those who don't really remember their history classes, here's your chance to learn about one of the pivotal events in U.S. history.

Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.


Julie P. 3/18/11, 6:15 AM  

These books would be ideal for the War Across the Generations Challenge since the theme this year is the Civil War.

Anonymous,  3/18/11, 7:17 AM  

Great books. There was a period in my life where all I read were Civil War books. From some reason that's the way it goes with me - pick a subject and read all you can.

The only exception is WWII which I find interesting no matter what.


Barbara 3/18/11, 9:31 AM  

The two Stephen Oates books are excellent. I'm happy to see this type of concentration on the Civil War for the 150th anniversary of its beginning.

Martha@Hey, I want to read that 3/18/11, 9:54 AM  

Growing up in Virginia with a Civil War buff father I thought I would never be interested in reading about the Civil War again. Now that some years have past (alright more than some) I'm starting to have my interest peaked again. What a great variety.

Meghan 3/18/11, 10:17 AM  

I came across mention that it was the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in BBC History magazine last month - I hadn't even realized before then! These books definitely look interesting - my eye is particularly caught by the biographies of Lincoln, as I always enjoy a good biography. I am actually reading a civil war book at the moment - A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman - so these will be great for follow-up reading when I'm done!

Nise' 3/18/11, 11:04 AM  

Great choices. I worked for a history professor and one of our good friends is a history teacher, so we got/get good history lessons!Our friend still quizzes us about important dates.

Jenn's Bookshelves 3/18/11, 11:56 AM  

Wow! Quite the impressive list!

bermudaonion 3/18/11, 12:22 PM  

I'm doing the Civil War Challenge, so I appreciate this list! I'll have to check some of these titles out.

Unknown 3/18/11, 2:15 PM  

I was going to say pretty much the same thing as Bermudaonion. I'm definitely keeping this list handy so I can supplement my reading for the Civil War Challenge.

Margot 3/19/11, 10:40 AM  

How did you know I was telling myself I'd better get going on the War Between the Generations challenge? This is a great selection for me to get my butt in gear and start reading.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 3/19/11, 11:18 AM  

What an impressive round-up of Civil War-themed books from one imprint!

If I were still on my family history kick, I'd snap these ALL up. As it is, I'll pick up THE OTHER CIVIL WAR, as that seems more focused on the social history of the era.

Yes, what a find for participants in the War Through the Generations challenge.

Rebecca Rasmussen 3/19/11, 11:54 AM  

I love reading about the Civil War -- one of my favorite time periods and oh how devastating.

Michelle 3/26/11, 5:21 PM  

That's a whole lot of Civil War reading. Particularly, as Dawn said, from one individual imprint.

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