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Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War - A Review

If you love history and are visual, The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War by Margaret E. Wagner might be something you’d be interested. I found a piece of Civil War reference material that I must have for my library.

This book is an excellent reference book any Civil War and/or history buff will love when their hands on it. The beautiful pictures add so much to the reading. This timeline takes the reader with words and pictures from February 1861 all the way through May 1865. Each monumental event is laid out with quotes, pictures, drawings, and maps to show the reader how it impacted the entire Civil War.

It concludes with an epilogue that summarizes the entire war and looks into the years that followed. The best description I have read of the war comes in this section:

“It had shaken assumptions, shattered illusions, and added fuels to the fires of social reform movements – from suffrage to labor unions – that had been kindled in the prewar North. In the South, it also gave birth to the gripping mythology encompassed in the term ‘Lost Cause’.”

What do you get with this book?
- Detailed timeline of the American Civil War
- Vivid pictures capturing the events and people
- Detailed notes section
- Information on the Library Congress
- A great reference material
- Perfect gift
- Quotes of events
- An engaging account of a tragic event

What do you not get with this book?
- Boring textbook feel
- Bland descriptions
- A book for the shelf and nothing more.

I see this book as a great coffee table piece, part of your reference library, a perfect piece for a history classroom. Too many forget how visual students can be. To see what Ms. Wagner offers with the joint efforts of the Library of Congress is truly amazing and brings the Civil War out of the textbooks and shows it for what it really was. It addresses the glory of the soldiers and the ugliness of brother killing brother. It shows the pride of the South and the mourning of a reunited nation.

A truly excellent piece that one must include in their collection.

Note: This book was provided by the publisher at my request.


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