I made it through two very different history books this past month from two very different periods of time and parts of the world. Looking towards the end of the year, I've realized that I won't hit my goal of 50 books in 2016 but I might get to 40. Stay tuned!
The War That Forged a Nation: Why the Civil War Still Matters
So many books have been written on the American Civil War and I have read nearly none of them, so this looked like a good place to start. This book is a collection of various essays about the Civil War by respected Civil War historian James McPherson. Each chapter contains one stand-alone essay so you don’t need to read them in order if you don’t want. Each chapter was thoroughly engaging, discussing topics like Lincoln as commander-in-chief, the role of slaves in their own emancipation, the importance of naval warfare, the role and perspective of Europe on the American Civil War, and theories about just war as related to this particular war. McPherson has a pleasant readable style, with plenty of detail and flavor, without getting bogged down in the details.