cover image The Civil War: An Illustrated History

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, Ric Burns. Alfred A Knopf Inc, $75 (448pp) ISBN 978-0-394-56285-8

Companion volume to a forthcoming PBS series, this is an extraordinary collection of photos, engravings and paintings, many published for the first time, conveying military and political events of the Civil War, accompanied by a pungent text that avoids sentimentality in depicting ``the most horrible, necessary, intimate, acrimonious, mean-spirited, and heroic'' war in our history. Typical illustrations include a photo of a pile of amputated feet, four pages of clinical portraits of maimed soldiers, photos of nurses at work in hospitals and rare studio portraits of slaves among some 500 illustrations which, in combination with the text, present a memorable record of the War Between the States. The book, assembled by Ward, author of A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt , and historians Ken and Ric Burns, also includes original essays by distinguished historians James M. McPherson and C. Vann Woodward among others, and an edifying interview with historian Shelby Foote. BOMC main selection. (Sept.)