Gettysburg

Book cover: 'Gettysburg'
Author(s): 
MacKinlay Kantor
Copyright: 
1952
Publisher: 
Random House
Series: 
Landmark
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
189 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1 - 3, 1863) is a complex, multi-faceted piece of history that would be difficult to understand after reading just one book. If you ever find yourself in the South-Central Pennsylvania, I would recommend a visit. I've been there twice and it's very a moving, historically interesting site.

This book offers a glimpse into a number of aspects of the human side of the war. The author met with a number of Civil War veterans personally, and so the accounts contained within the book are very human and anecdotal. He tries to give us a sense of the flavor of life in that time period; the way people thought about each other - particularly those on opposite sides of the Potomac River.

Like many Landmark books, this probably isn't the first place you want to turn to in studying about Gettysburg - and this one isn't quite as cohesive as I would like. I think it would be most interesting and accessible to upper grade schoolers who had already become familiar with events in a general way from a textbook or from a visit to the battlefield. My 11 year old daughter tackled this independently this past year in the midst of other books on the civil war, bits and pieces of Ken Burns' Civil War Documentary and enjoyed and benefited from it.

Review Date: 
12-29-04
Reviewed by: