Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Stillness at Appomattox (book review)

A Stillness at Appomattox, by Bruce Catton, is the story of the last year of the Civil War, from the second battle of the Wilderness to the surrender at Appomattox Court House. The book goes into great detail about each battle, stating not just the rudiments but also interesting little facts about the generals and soldiers fighting. There was a great deal of direct quoting from the soldiers themselves, which was highly interesting. The book detailed the highs and lows of camp life during 1864-65. During the battles, the writing and the maps provided gave me a sense of direction and let me feel as if I was marching to the scene of the fight, and I appreciated that.

However, at times I found the writing a little dry. Occasionally I had to read a paragraph over once or twice in order to fully understand its content.

Even readers with little or no background information on the Civil War would find it easy to read this book. The writing is (for the most part) very understandable, and Catton provides a great deal of background information. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in American history or the Civil War.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I am using this as an alternate for the Book Awards Challenge.