History Booklists


Big Read 2011 - Voices of Conflict: The American Civil War

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Confederate Girlhoods: A Women's History of Early Springfield, Missouri
by Craig A. Meyer Details
One of Springfield's founding families, the Campbells, were prodigious writers whose memoirs, correspondence and fiction portray four generations of pioneer women. Focusing on writings from 1855 to 1905, Confederate Girlhoods presents these women's view of Indians and early settling; of slavery and Southern patriotism; of war and its social, political, economic aftermath; of the railroad and westward migration; of an Ozarks community's early efforts at conservation and civic commemoration.
From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature
by Randall Fuller Details
Explores the profound impact of the war on writers including Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson and Frederick Douglass. Calling into question every prior presumption and ideal, the war forever changed America's early idealism -- and consequently its literature into something far more ambivalent and raw. Sketching an absorbing group portrait of the period's most important writers, From Battlefields Rising flashes with forgotten historical details and elegant new ideas. It alters previous perceptions about the evolution of American literature and how Americans have understood and expressed their common history.
Jesse James: The Last Rebel of the Civil War
by T.J. Stiles Details
A reassessment of the legendary American outlaw chronicles the life of Jesse James, from his youth in Missouri, to his teenage years fighting alongside Confederate guerrillas, to his criminal career.
Killer Angels
by Jeff Shaara Details
It's July 1863 and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is invading the North. General Robert E. Lee has made this daring and massive move with seventy thousand men in a determined effort to draw out the Union Army of the Potomac and mortally wound it. Opposing them is an unknown factor: General George Meade, who has taken command of the Army only two days before what will be perhaps the crucial battle of the Civil War. In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fight for two conflicting dreams.
Nine Months in the Infantry Service of the U.S.: A personal narrative of incidents experienced and observed in the Home Guards and Phelps Regiments
by R.P. Matthews Details
Robert Pinkney Matthews wrote Nine Months in the Infantry Service more than 20 years following the Civil War. His purpose was to leave for his family a written account of a critical time during his youth: the beginning of the American Civil War and his early war service in southwest Missouri. Matthews was a Greene County resident during the 1860s. As such he witnessed the 1860 election and the subsequent southern states' secession from the Union. His accounts include warnings, underlying threats against him and ostracism over his support for a cause in the presence of less tolerant people. Still, Matthews remained loyal to his own principles.
The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse
by J. Patrick Lewis Details
Lewis' poignant poetry is paired with photographs by Civil War photographers and provides readers with vivid insight into the brutality that is war.
The River Between Us
by Richard Peck Details
Peck's spare writing sets an eloquent stage for this powerful mystery. When 15-year-old Tilly Pruitt's family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to live in a small, southern Illinois town, the Pruitt's family's lives are changed forever. Reviewers describe Peck's writing as "masterful," as he relates "the female Civil War experience, the subtle and not-too-subtle ways the country was changing, and the split in loyalty that separated towns and even families."
Wilson's Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It
by William G. Piston Details
On Saturday morning, August 10, 1861, soldiers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and United States Regulars clashed near Wilson's Creek, just 10 miles southwest of Springfield. When the battle was over, Union troops retreated to Rolla while the victorious Southern army occupied Springfield. Though the battle and its aftermath have been the subject of a few books, none covers it with the depth of Wilson's Creek: the Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It. Wilson's Creek profiles common soldiers and the communities that supported them.
Updated 01/11/2012
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