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The American Civil War by Gary W. Gallagher

The American Civil War

by Gary W. Gallagher

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Product Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
24 Hrs.
User Rating
  3.5  Stars Based on 2 ratings
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From 1861 to 1865, slavery ended and a loose-knit republic became a unified, continent-spanning power. The price in human lives was greater than that for all other American wars combined.

These lectures carefully examine the political strategies and consequences of the Civil War. Much of the course is also devoted to the strategic and tactical dimensions of military campaigns.

Much more than the story of battles, the course recounts the price paid by all Americans, including:

  • the hard lot of prisoners;
  • how soldiers dealt with the rigors of camp life and the terror of combat;
  • how slaves and their falling masters responded to the advancing war; and
  • the desperate price paid by the families so many left behind.

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Reviewer LOLAlex
 February 17, 2006
Title: An Absolute Gem

General Content - Possibly the most important event in United States history, the Civil War stands as a seminal moment in the history of a young nation. Beginning a mere 85 years after the Declaration of Independence, it tore apart a nation and decided the course of that nation for the years up to and including the present.

In this series of lectures, Gary Gallagher tackles the causes of the Civil War, traces the events that shaped it on and off the battlefield, and examines its effect on both North America and Europe. By not only looking at the battlefield but also the political wranglings that shaped domestic and foreign policy, Prof. Gallagher provides a thorough understanding of how and why the war took the course that it did. And by examining all facets of the conflict, it gives the listener a keen insight into the tumult of a nation at war against itself.

Prof. Gallagher takes a unique angle on the questions that plagued the people who directed this war. Instead of forming conclusions from memoirs and the 20/20 vision of history, he approaches the war from the letters and writings that were concurrent with the events that informed those writings. This allows Prof. Gallagher to not only come to different conclusions than some other historians, but also gives these lectures an immediacy that is hard to come by in discussing events that happened nearly a century and a half ago.

Audio-Specific Content - I listened to The Teaching Company's 24 cassette version of The American Civil War and found the audio to be excellent. Gary Gallagher has a genuine fascination and excitement for his material and it is infectious. I found myself wanting to hear more whenever I finished a lecture. Fortunately, the lectures are relatively short, so they do not overstay their welcome. If I had to make criticism, I would mention that Prof. Gallagher's voice sounds a little "thin" at first. However, a few minutes into the first lecture, I did not notice anything. His genuine excitement for the lectures more than filled out the sound.

Overall, this is an excellent lecture series for anyone interested in learning about the Civil War. Whether you are a novice or a studied expert, it is not only worth a listen, but it is worth returning to in order to pick up those details you might miss the first time through. I highly recommend it.

More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T002708
Available On
Audio CD
24 Discs
8 Discs