Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bloody Times

Bloody Times
By James L. Swanson
Collins, 2011. 196 pgs. Young Adult Nonfiction

Swanson describes the final days of the Civil War, with Jefferson David determined to keep the Confederacy fighting even after Robert E. Lee's surrender, and Lincoln's assassination shortly after Lee's surrender. Davis, not even knowing yet that Lincoln had been killed, retreated further into the South, trying to figure out how to continue the fight, while many in the North believed he was to blame for Lincoln's death. As Davis cut a path across the South, Lincoln's corpse was loaded on a train and toured many cities in the North before being laid to rest at home in Illinois.

An interesting contrast between what the living Davis and the deceased Lincoln were doing after the surrender of Robert E. Lee, this detailed account shows how Lincoln was revered by many people and his legacy began, while Davis clung to Southern ideals even as his country crumbled around him. The writing wasn't always very smooth; tangents disrupted the continuity of the book. Overall, though, it's a good choice for anyone who wants to learn more about the end of the Civil War.


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