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1. The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's
2. The Approaching Fury: Voices of
3. With Malice Toward None: A Life
4. The Approaching Fury: Voices of
5. Let the Trumpet Sound
6. Woman of Valor
7. To Purge This Land with Blood
8. William Faulkner: Man and the
9. With Malice Toward None: The Life
10. Rip Fords Texas (Personal Narratives
11. To Purge This Land With Blood:
13. With Malice Toward None
14. Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind
15. Visions of Glory: Texans on the
16. William Faulkner. Sein Leben.
17. Let the Trumpet Sound: Life of
18. The Whirlwind of War: Voices of
19. The Fires of Jubilee (Mentor)
20. Our Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln,

1. The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 208 Pages (1990-04-11)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$4.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060916702
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The bloody slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831, and the savage reprisals that followed, shattered beyond repair the myth of the contented slave and the benign master and intensified the forces of change that would plunge America into the bloodbath of the Civil War. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars NICE

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
I received my book very fast, I was not expecting it to arrive so quickly. I would recommend this person.

4-0 out of 5 stars one extra star just for existing
being a person with a casual interest in history (as opposed to a historian), it was nice to read something about nat turner. the book was short - 150 pages without the dreadful epilogue and another 50 or so pages of notes. it being short was ok, but it seemed to reflect a lack of information about the life of nat turner, and the events surrounding his rebellion. considering the amazing amount of prejudice that informs what information is available about nat turner's rebellion, the author does a good job of gathering sources. however, the author is all over the writing in a way that detracts from the history. he injects opinions and judgments. while i am not sympathetic to slaveholders, i do not need the author to speak pejoratively about them. their actions and words could do that for them. all in all, a good, quick read about a subject i've not not ever read much about. not a manual, however, for how to conduct a revolution...

5-0 out of 5 stars fast shiping
the book was in great shape when i got it and i would also like to say fast shipping.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about a man who has inspired many and could inspire so many more!
This book was absolutly amazing. I was assigned this book for a report in HIST I. I have now read it and listened to it probably 10 times. you really can feel the pain that Turner felt, as well as the rightousness in killing these people. I am a person that does not believe in violence, but this book made me understand how a man or woman could be driven to such dire circumstances. This book should as graphic as it is should also be given to all High School students. It really show that when backed into a corner, that people can do things that are truly unthinkable. Maybe bullying could be affected in positive way, by this work! ... Read more

2. The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861
by Stephen B Oates
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1998)

Isbn: 0788719963
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Product Description
Various narrators. ... Read more

3. With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 544 Pages (1994-01-05)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$9.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060924713
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A masterful biography of Lincoln that follows his bitter struggle with poverty, his self-made success in business and law, his early disappointing political career, and his leadership as President during one of America's most tumultuous periods.Amazon.com Review
Someone once said that more books have been written aboutAbraham Lincoln than any other person in history save Jesus andShakespeare. Indeed, it is impossible to understand the Civil Warwithout getting to know the complex figure of the 16th president. Morethan any other biographer, Stephen B. Oates brings the plain-talkingman from Illinois to life as a canny politician, a doting husband, anda determined wartime leader. Oates has an appealing appreciation forLincoln's majestic control of the English language, his raw humor, andhis undeniable heroism. The final pages, covering Lincoln's death andhis legacy, are graceful and moving. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars best president
i really liked this book. it not only tells the story of linclons life in great detail but it is also humorus and whitty at times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lesson in Humility
1) This book is a page turner.
2) No myths.The book clearly illustrates Lincolns adverse position against 100% abolition in his early years.Not that he was pro-slavery, he was more interested in keeping the union together.
This book gives a clear biography about the man.It paint him as he was, a man who, through great adversity of friends and foes, successfully kept the Union together.The man's life is a testimony to success despite unfair hardness.He was surrounded by arrogant egotistical incompetent elitist people.It clearly shows the man's humility and tact in the face of all these 'human' problems.
People who hate this book also probably hate G.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.Humility to them is a contemptible weakness to be despised whereas pride and elitism is, to them, strength.There lies the error.It was Abe's humility that made him the success he was.With all the man had to face and work with he should have lost the war.Coward incompetent generals who continually squandered the lives of men on the battle field.
After you read this book, you'll have wished the man was not assassinated, he could have (and it is clearly documented) eased restoration.We probably wouldn't have had all the anti-black problems we had in the late 1800's early 1900's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb biography of Lincoln, hard to put down!
It's always hard when you get to the end of a book that you don't want to be finished with. This was one of those books. As I came to Lincoln's death, I knew the author would be wrapping up, but I thought he would be explaining more than he did about what Lincoln's wife and sons did after his death, or how the handled things around the White House...but Gates didn't, because the book was on Lincoln. So I will have to go get another book to find that information out.

This was a beautifully written book, full of information about Lincoln that I wish I had had years ago. The information you are given in junior high and high school, and even college is so little, and often so wrong about Lincoln and that time period, that delving into a good book like this is pure joy. It's nice to read about his relationship with his wife, to know that much of what is said about her was untrue, and that for the most part they had a good relationship until the last few years, when she lost her sons and had some mental problems to deal with. Given all that she had to deal with her problems were real and understandable, and the pressure very intense.

I read this book, and cannot imagine what Lincoln had to contend with. It's hard to believe that he had to deal with draft riots back then, almost worse than those we had in the 1960's. His problems with the generals before Grant are unbelieveable. They were atrocious, to the point of being sheer cowards and treasonous. Any other president would have lost patience a long time before Lincoln did.

An incredible read, and highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars With Malice Towards My Mind
The book, With Malice Towards None, by Stephen B. Oates is in introspective
look at the life of Abraham Lincoln. It shows his initial struggles with poverty and how he formally progressed through the business and law. Oates, views Lincoln as a good hearted person with a set of ambitions that would thread the world a new outfit to wear. However, Oates concentrates on the difficulties that Lincoln faced not only throughout his early political career, but also throughout his early presidency. Ironically, with as the tensions with the South grew, Lincoln's inaugural speech took place on the eve of the Civil War. The issues he faced were tremendous and complex within their own respect. Lincoln is shown primarily as a politician. The author takes his time in drawing out Lincoln's grace and his own leniency in most cases to attempt a compromise with the Southern states, though they threaten to secede from the Union. The encounters that Lincoln experiences, and how Oates describes these events humanizes Lincoln. This, theme that Oates establishes is very important within the books structure because it breaks the Abraham Lincoln fantasy down, making this legendary figure humanly reachable.

Lincoln's pace and general attitude was simply to keep things in a harmonious atmosphere. He necessarily did not want to further the conflict with the Slave States, but at the same time, he viewed that the Union had to be upheld and was not something that people could just leave whenever they chose to do so. This thematic that is carried throughout the book shows Lincoln as a thinker and humanitarian. This legendary figure known too many as the freer of the slaves, is fleshed out throughout these pages given him glorious shine and the crippling dents on his person. Another point that I found most intriguing was Lincoln's total abandonment for reconciliation because he knew the South would never be satisfied with a compromise. Much like the South already began to threaten to secede and break the agreement to be in the Union, another agreement could be as easily broken. The South wanted to expand slavery into non slave states, and Lincoln ultimately knew this and was not going to allow it. This is why; Lincoln understood that a compromise was a fairy tale. It's also interesting to see how Lincoln was at the very beginning trying to control and manage the war, when in turn, the war was mastering him. The Civil War was all about the fight against slavery. The South could simply not just be allowed to leave the Union and carve their own path so to speak. There would be no compromise until all who lived in bondage would be freed.

In particular, I enjoyed the book and the angle the Oates took to examine Lincoln and his adventures. Humanizing Lincoln was something that I did not expect. For many years Lincoln is presented as a legend, untouchable and without flaw. With Malice Towards None, exemplifies Lincoln in a manner that gives him the reality of a human, torn between decisions, anguished, troubled yet ready to step forward and advance as a leader. Lincoln is stubborn with a will made of iron, which at the very end allowed him persevere over the slave states.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning about Lincoln
I am not a scholar or specialist on Abraham Lincoln. Those who know the literature can compare this book with tens of other biographies. I cannot. I read the book , learned much from it, enjoyed very much reading it, felt it was a well- paced narrative. It actually helped me solve certain questions I had from my school years. For instance the description of the Douglas - Lincoln debates showed me how far the 'mind- set' of those days was from that of today. Lincoln himself spoke about his accepting the social and intellectual inequality of the Negro. He argued passionately for every individual's right for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- but he in accepting the right of the Slave states to remain as they were was in fact no preacher of real and total 'equality'. Lincoln in this work also appears as far more shrewd, ambitious, more politically savvy than I had thought him to be. My idea was that he was more like Cincinattus called on in an hour of emergency because needed desperately by the people. It was not like that. And Lincoln having lost a Senate race to Douglas was strongly ambitious , and tactically wise in his effort to defeat him.
I have said that the biography reads very well. But it does not go into depth in examining relationships- and we are not given deep enough information about Lincoln's relation to his wife. I did not know how hostile Lincoln was to his own father. And this surprised because the image many of us have of Lincoln is of one supremely kind and compassionate.
There is something else I missed in this work. Lincoln is in his speeches eminently quotable, his language uplifting and beautiful.This biography does not give us enough of Lincoln's writing and his speaking. It describes but does not exemplify enough.
The book tells in detail the story of Lincoln's conduct throughout the Civil War. There were a number of surprises for me here, including the degee to which the Union generals were incompetent and the degree to which Lincoln showed patience with them. Thinking of Lincoln as the most beloved American President as he is, I was too surprised at how much hatred there was of him in his time. He was derided and mocked and contradicted. It was too suprising for me to see the degree of frustration and deep sense of failure he often had in the Presidency.
Yet with all this said, this work tells the story of the rise to greatness of the man many believe to be America's greatest President. There is thus no denying a kind of inspiring and heroic feeling which pervades the narrative as a whole. A kind of reverence is present in the tone of the work which I as a reader felt echoing within me in the course of the reading.

... Read more

4. The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 512 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060928859
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Stephen B. Oates tells the story of the coming of the American Civil War through the voices, and from the viewpoints, of 13 principal players in the drama, including Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, NatTurner, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass. This unique approach shows the crucial role that perception of events played in the sectional hostilities that bore the United States irreversibly into civil war.

In writing the monologues, Oates draws on the actual words of Ills speakers and simulates how they would describe the crucial events in which they were the principal actors or witnesses. All the events and themes in the monologues adhere to historical record.

The result is an exciting history that brings the personalities and events of the coming of the American Civil War vividly to life.Amazon.com Review
Acclaimed and prolific historian Stephen B. Oates looks at theevents leading to the American Civil War through the eyes and words of13 historic figures. Beginning with the Missouri Crisis of 1820 andending with the outbreak of hostilities, Oates presents the viewpointsof such famous personages as Henry Clay and John Brown. The authorblends fact and fiction to bring the people and events to life, andthis unique treatment makes the period's complicated historyaccessible to the general reader. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars If You Plan to Read Only One Book on the Civil War . . .
. . . this is it.The rotating-narrative style pulls readers in most wonderfully.While many historical accounts take an omniscient approach -- readers stationed above the action, looking down -- this puts you in the middle of the hurricane.Perspective changes rapidly from North to South, from pro-slavery to anti-slavery to abolitionist.In my first read through, I found myself cursing Jefferson Davis under my breath (mild mannered historian that I am); when I was using it another time in preparing for a class, I found myself snarling at Abe.Having trouble connecting with people in the past?Here's your book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Book
This book makes complicated ideas fascinating because Oates takes on the role of each of the major players. It's as though Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln are on "Meet the Press."

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good on the politics of ONE of the causes of the WBTS
I was skeptical of this book when I read in the preface that Oates was going to tell us what the key players said and what "they might have said". However, I was very pleased with the even handedness and accuracy of his content. The style of the book proved refreshing and placed the chronological events into an interesting weave. HOWEVER, he leads the reader to believe that slavery and its politics was the ONLY reason for the eventual conflict. The resulting carnage was a product of many more and very complicated factors of which we should all be aware.

5-0 out of 5 stars No Better Way To Read History
This is an incredible work deserving of the highest awards and accolades for scholarship and literature. What an exhilirating way to read history! The first person narrartives, soskillfully and beautifully written, drew me into the events and emotions in ways that I have never experienced reading other history texts. This is the way to learn and enjoy history and I hope parents and educators take note.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique approach - very good reading
I first read Oates' Whirlwind of War and enjoyed that so much that I thought I'd give this one a try.My interest in the Civil War was broadened by this book into a desire to better understand the setting prior to 1860.I really liked Oates' "first person" writing technique.It takes an extremely good understanding of the person as well as the historic facts to do this and Oates carries this off well.Read both books! ... Read more

5. Let the Trumpet Sound
by Stephen B. Oates
Kindle Edition: 592 Pages (2009-06-23)
list price: US$13.99
Asin: B002EBDPC8
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award and the Christopher Award, this brilliant examination of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. portrays a very real man and his dream that shaped America's history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Briliantly written book
MLK was indeed a brilliant man. I first purchased this book while in college. My Social Science prof was allowing us to debate whether or not MLK's birthday should be a national holiday. I chimed in with "aw, what'd he do besides march and give speeches?"The prof looked at me and very quietly said "He changed the country."That got me wondering .... how'd he do that? What did he change?

After reading the book i was forever changed. The book did not gloss over his human frailties. On the contrary, it's a frank portrait of MLK the man, not MLK the angel. His human frailties can never diminish his extraordinary achievements in that most noble of professions- leadership.

Ghandi gave his nation the gift of enduring equality. Lincoln gave his nation the gift of civil peace. MLK gave his nation both.

Let the trumpet sound!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview
For many of us, the Civil Rights era happened when we were too young to understand. This is a good overview of the man and his times. Many people who were just names before, became people to me.

Although, I believe King made some serious mistakes, I understand for the first time why he should have a national holiday. I had no idea he was such an impressive person. Keep in mind, this book was written by a serious historian; not just someone who wished to canonize King.

5-0 out of 5 stars A blueprint for change
As a student activist during my college years, I was introduced to this book by one of many mentors. They said that this was a detailed account of how Dr. King and his soldiers pushed forward their agenda for change in America.It was more than that. It was a powerful testament of the conviction of Dr. King and the gameplan for dealing with racist America. He did not work alone but his analysis of each situation proved to be very timely and accurate.Later on, of course, his effectiveness lost a little of its punch but you can not change the success that came from his branch of the Movement. Stephen Oates so elequently noted the techniques and strategies used during the turbulant sixties. It gave me information on how to handle the media, the powers that be, other members of my allies and prepare for possible backstabbers.That was my reason for reading the book.However, I got SSSOOO much more.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a revolutionary.His faith in God was the driving force behind in nonviolent stance. His studies of Gandhi and Martin Luther further solidified his position. Destined for greatness from the time of his birth, MLK was always preparing himself (and being prepared) for that big moment.He was intelligent, charismatic and thorough in approach to segregation. A family man, a minister, a scholar and an activist. This book is a good starting point for not just learning about King but understanding him. He IS (not was) bigger than "I Have A Dream", bigger than boycotts, bigger than nonviolence. Thanks to Oates and this masterpiece, he can be celebrated for what he was, an instrument of change and the Prince of Peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful balanced biography
Stephen Oates writes a masterful biography of one of the pivotal figures of the twentieth century.Today we view Martin Luther King Jr. as a saint, and a model of what the human spirit can achieve.In his day, he was viewed by many in the South with fear, hatred and loathing.

It is easy to view this situation in hindsight, and assume that everyone was just ignorant.Oates writes of the complex history, the battles within and outside "the movement" and how divided the nation was at the time.Oates also does not shirk away from many of Martin Luther King's personal weaknesses.In this sense, he humanizes the great leader, instead of canonizes him.

In the end, I am left with three conclusions:
1 - Martin Luther King Jr. indeed found a way to overcome hatred with love, and in doing so helped America avoid a race war.
2 - The message of civil rights was both religeous and personal.Despite today's views of the right being the party of religeon, in his day the southern liberal movement was galvanized in the church.
3 - Despite this, he was a flawed individual.His human weakness does not diminish his accomplishment.

The book is not light reading.Read it.Let it soak in.And comprehend.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Life of Martin Luther King Jr.
This book was about a big part of our United States History. It was about Civil Rights. Martin Luther King Jr. was a big Civil Rights activist in the 1960's. I learned quite a bit about Martin Luther Kings's life that I did not know before I had read this book.
Martin Luther King was one of the most important people of our country's history. He fought for African-Americans Civil Rights. He was a very determined man, who was alwyas put into jail numerous times for his "peaceful protests". He had given several speeches as well. The author of this book is Stephen B. Oates. He is a good writer, who has written 16 books.He has also won many literary prizes such as the Christopher Award. This book is very well written. He clearly tells the story as if he had experienced it. His strenghts include: Getting actual quotes from the people that were important in this time, having pictures of Mr. King and others, and having footnotes that explained the story more in depth. I can not think of many weaknesses that he has. However, the book was long but I did not expect it to be short due to the importance of the topic. I would reccomend this book to many people. The reason why is because it tells you in depth stories about Martin Luther King Jr. and his life, but it does have profanity and innappropriate content for young children. All in all, this was a very good biography and taught me many things. ... Read more

6. Woman of Valor
by Stephen B. Oates
Kindle Edition: 527 Pages (1995-05-01)
list price: US$23.95
Asin: B003A8IPK6
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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When the Civil War broke out, Clara Barton wanted more than anything to be a Union soldier, an impossible dream for a thirty-nine-year-old woman, who stood a slender five feet tall. Determined to serve, she became a veritable soldier, a nurse, and a one-woman relief agency operating in the heart of the conflict. Now, award-winning author Stephen B. Oates, drawing on archival materials not used by her previous biographers, has written the first complete account of Clara Barton's active engagement in the Civil War.

By the summer of 1862, with no institutional affiliation or official government appointment, but impelled by a sense of duty and a need to heal, she made her way to the front lines and the heat of battle. Oates tells the dramatic story of this woman who gave the world a new definition of courage, supplying medical relief to the wounded at some of the most famous battles of the war -- including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Battery Wagner, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg. Under fire with only her will as a shield, she worked while ankle deep in gore, in hellish makeshift battlefield hospitals -- a bullet-riddled farmhouse, a crumbling mansion, a windblown tent. Committed to healing soldiers' spirits as well as their bodies, she served not only as nurse and relief worker, but as surrogate mother, sister, wife, or sweetheart to thousands of sick, wounded, and dying men.

Her contribution to the Union was incalculable and unique. It also became the defining event in Barton's life, giving her the opportunity as a woman to reach out for a new role and to define a new profession. Nursing, regarded as a menial service before the war, became a trained, paid occupation after the conflict. Although Barton went on to become the founder and first president of the Red Cross, the accomplishment for which she is best known, A Woman of Valor convinces us that her experience on the killing fields of the Civil War was her most extraordinary achievement. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Woman Born in the Wrong Time
Stephen Oates is an outstanding narrative historian and a first-rate biographer. In this volume, he explores the life of one of the most remarkable woman in American history. Clara Barton was absolutely unwilling to accept the limited, simplistic role 19th Century society designed for women. Well-educated and dedicated to public service to the detriment of any personal life, she accomplished more in a lifetime than most women would a century later when opportunities were much easier for them to find. One of the finer qualities of Oates' writing is a complete unwillingness to pass judgement. Viewed from the perspective of her time, Clara Barton was pushy, ambitious, and entirely too willing to do things that were inappropriate or "unfeminine" in the pursuit of her goals. Viewed from a more modern time, these qualities are less objectionable, but at times she still seems to be an overpowering force that many men today would find difficult to endure. Oates offers few if any opinions on Clara's personality but gives us a completely honest and utterly objective look at a woman who was absolutely unwilling to conform to society's expectations. One can only wonder to what heights of government service she would have aspired if she were born in the 20th century. I suspect from reading Oates' account of her personality and ingenuity that she would have won my vote.

5-0 out of 5 stars As a woman, this book gave me great inspiration to do something for anyone in need of moral. A MUST read.
The book is wonderful. Every woman should read it. It shows that anyone can stand out in a crowd and lend a hand no matter what form it takes. An inspiration to women everywhere! A very real account of her life, feels as if you are there with her. Please read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Real Protrait of a Real Woman
As a nurse I have heard and read about Clara Barton for years. This book finally reinvents the tired images - melodramatic icon of female self sacrifice and courage, angel on earth and of the battlefield - and offers the reader a compelling, warm and very real picture of the person and personality of this famous individual. We see all aspects of Clara's character and the impact of the many choices she makes. We even get to see a few of the skeletons in her closet. Without this book, I doubt we would know that there were any! The amount of detail - and it is considerable - is so beautifully woven into the historical narrative that the story, like the Civil War, sweeps the reader from one new experience to the next. Read this and you will feel the jolting of army wagons along rutted roads, struggle to rest as the canvas flaps of your tent crack and strain in storms, gallop with joyful abandon along the beaches at Hilton Head - and much more. I purchased my copy at Gettyburg and it is the best "souvenir" purchase I ever made. Bravo to Stephen Oates!

5-0 out of 5 stars Educational and Entertaining to read.A must have book!
Mr. Oates has done it again.You will know Clara Barton ambitions, downfalls, her emotions as well as her eager drive and personal duty to serve those who suffered so much during the Civil War years. The contents of this book will jump out at you and you'll feel that you're right next to the personalities involved.Oh, what women had to go through to pursue a dream or an ambition to contribute to society.Clara has a heart of gold as her patients in and off the field well knew, yet she was being torn apart on the inside by the constant fear that she wasn't doing enough for "her boys".Her personal life was put on the back shelf as she persued her one desire, to help those who were less fortunate.You'll follow Clara as she goes through the blood, sweat, tears, agony and the horrors of the war. This is a true story of a dark chapter in our american history when brother fought against brother literally.It is also of a dream turned into reality that Clara Barton followed with a sincere robust ambition to pursue the betterment of her fellow man. By caring for the soldiers on the battlefield, she proved to the Union Army that those suffering needed love, compassion and of course medical care where it was most needed - on the front lines of battle. This is a must read book for those interested in hero's, Civil War history or nursing history.Stephen B. Oates is the author of other fine books in history and ranks right up there with the big boys in the writings of history ... Read more

7. To Purge This Land with Blood
by Stephen B. Oates
 Hardcover: Pages (1970-01-01)

Asin: B000NLJSZE
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Seminal Work on John Brown of Kansas and Harpers Ferry
I cannot recommend too highly this 1971 work by Stephen B. Oates on John Brown's life and times, it is one of the most balanced and readable biographies of a man who has had over 70+ works written on him since his death in 1859. Brown is, and was, a difficult man to handle by any standard morality context, but he was willing to do what others only spoke about guardedly, and that was to take on the grave evil that existed in this land under the cognomen of "Slavery". We are still wrestling wioth its ill effects 150 years later, and no where more so then here in the South, it is the skeleton in too many closets. The 16th of October will be the 150th of Brown's Raid on the United States Armory at Harpers Ferry, (W)Va, and I recommend that if you can get there for the event, your eyes will be opened. Get a copy of this book and read it, you will be enlightened. ... Read more

8. William Faulkner: Man and the A
by Stephen B Oates
 Hardcover: 363 Pages (1990-07-03)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$74.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517053454
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling read
Wonderful and compelling. Full of the magic of his creativity and it goes into depths of his pain. ... Read more

9. With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln
by Stephen B. Oates
Hardcover: 492 Pages (2002-09)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$28.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0945707320
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A luxurious reading experience
This book generated controversy among Lincoln scholars.The general reading public, however, will probably enjoy both the book's prose and its story.Regardless of whether there is much, or anything, new in the volume, its account of Lincoln is told with flair.Points that disturbed some Lincoln scholars will probably not be noticed by general readers.I read the book before I knew about the dispute, and found the volume enchanting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well-written and informative
With Malice Toward None is a well-written and informative look at Lincoln's life. I am very selective about the biographies that I spend my time reading because I consider the style of many to be suffocatingly boring. I looked over several on Lincoln, and selected this one. I was pleased with it through the end. The author does not waste space on finding the "flawed" man underneath the legend, which is popular in so many recent biographies. He explains Lincoln's life in a matter-of-fact and readable fashion. One of my favorite parts in the book is the explanation of how the Civil War proceeded and the absolutely essential role Lincoln played. It will give you an insightful look at the politics and history of the time, not to mention an appreciation for how much Lincoln endured before his triumph.

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm a teenager actually and this book is horrible
I am being forced to read this book in AP History.It is one of the worst bigs I have ever read n my life.It is boring and the author is far too verbose for his own good.He often uses 50 words when 2 will do.Do not buys this book.It is horrible beyond belief the only book I can think that is wworse then this is Founding Brothers.I wish I could ahve given it zero stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great
Well I needed to read this book for a history book report.The book was interesting but also boring for a 14 year old to read.All of the political stuff but it was still a great book about Lincoln.I learned alot about him and and how much he must have been stressing while he wasPresident.If you like to read then u might as well read this book. ... Read more

10. Rip Fords Texas (Personal Narratives of the West)
by John Salmon Ford
Paperback: 519 Pages (1987)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0292770340
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Republic of Texas was still in its first exultation over independence when John Salmon "Rip" Ford arrived from South Carolina in June of 1836.Ford stayed to participate in virtually every major event in Texas history during the next sixty years.Doctor, lawyer, surveyor, newspaper reporter, elected representative, and above all, soldier and Indian fighter, Ford sat down in his old age to record the events of the turbulent years through which he had lived. Stephen Oates has edited Ford's memoirs to produce a clear and vigorous personal history of Texas. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ride with Rip
Memoirs may often cure insomnia, but not this hefty chunk of history. Travel back in time with John Salmon "Rip" Ford. Saddle the horses and hitch up your britches, you'll be heading out to the Texas of anewly independent republic. Ride from the Red to the Rio Grande and beyondwith the doctor, lawyer, surveyor, journalist, trailblazer, legislator, andcelebrated soldier of numerous wars.

Ford takes the reader from theearliest days of the republic to statehood, secession, and on intoreconstruction. Meet the intrepid Texas Ranger Jack Hays. Ride fromMatamoros to Mexico City with the "Los Diablos Tejanos."Trailblaze a trade route from San Antonio to El Paso with theFord-Neighbors expedition.

Brilliantly edited by Stephen B. Oates, thispersonal narrative of a time, place, and adventure, all larger than lifeitself, is a must read for all who are interested in Texas and its history. ... Read more

11. To Purge This Land With Blood: A Biography of John Brown
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 448 Pages (1984-08)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$18.03
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Asin: 0870234587
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this 39 years ago
I read this book while in the US military during the Vietnam War. Having been raised in the US South I naturally had been taught that John Brown was a maniac. Partially because I was going through a very morally trying period in my own life, particularly related to the war and human rights in my own country and around the world, while reading this book I came to view Brown as a man who refused to peacefully coexist with what he considered to be intolerable evil and injustice.

The vast majority of people on Earth would find the notion that Brown was a "terrorist" to be absurd. African Americans, the descendants of the people who were the victims of what Brown was willing to give his life to destroy, overwhelmingly consider him a hero and freedom fighter. Those of his day, including Frederick Douglass, spoke highly of him. His name was sometimes invoked by leaders in the so-called civil right era of the '50s and '60s.

I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Catalyst for the Civil War?
Who was John Brown and what made him tick?And what was his significance or importance in the pre-Civil War USA?

Most readers are probably aware Brown led a raid on government property at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.The raid's goal was to cause slaves to rebel and to establish a free state in the southern Appalachians.Some might also know that several years earlier he had been a participant in a bloody guerrilla war in Kansas in which Brown's followers killed five people at Pottawatomie Creek.

But it was the Harpers Ferry raid that not only led to his hanging but also shaped his lasting reputation.But how to assess that reputation?Not an easy question.To some he was a crazy terrorist.Others view him as a militant aboltionist determined to bring an end to the institution of slavery even if this resulted in blood being shed.

In this full length biography, Stephen B. Oates narrates Brown's life and seeks to understand the man in the context of his times.He is not writing to praise or damn Brown, which separates him from most others who have written about him.Yet, if the reader detects a somewhat favorable attitude or slant on the part of the author toward his subject, I would not disagree.

So what is Oates' take on Brown?He essentially sees him as an Old Testament/Calvinist fundamentalist who believed that slavery was a sin and, as such, should be done away with.Oates cautions against the previously quite common view of Brown as being "mad" or "crazy".Rather, Brown saw slavery as a horrible evil, as something that violated not only Christian teaching but also the principles upon which the country was founded. When non-violent attempts to do away with the institution were not successful (attempts that Brown had participated in), he concluded that slavery must be purged away with blood. Oates also strongly emphasizes that Brown firmly believed that even if his Harpers Ferry raid failed to lead to slaves revolting, it would be perceived as such a volatile act that civil conflict would follow, almost certainly resulting in slavery's demise.Too, in all his anti-slavery activities, Brown believed he was an instrument in the hands of God.

What were the consequences of Brown's raid and what is its significance?At the very least it led to tremendous fear in the slave states, fears of additional northern abolitionists coming down and attempting to cause servile insurrections.Yet the 1859 raid did not *immediately* at least cause a civil war.That event, the one that led directly to secession and war, was the elction of president Abraham Lincoln, who, by the way, went out of his way to condemn Brown's Harpers Ferry raid, if not Brown's belief that slavery was wrong.Still, it could be argued that Brown's prophecy was correct, for within two years of the raid a bloody civil war DID lead to the destruction of slavery.

In conclusion a few words about the author and book.I have long been an admirer of the writing of Stephen B. Oates, several of whose books I have read, re-read, and recommended.They are all extremely well written and make history come alive.I first read this book nearly four decades ago when it came out.As I am about to undertake a project of reading a couple anthologies about Brown, I decided to revisit this.It's almost as good as it was the first time.Right now it must be the best book on Brown by a historian.However, as I understand a major new work on Brown by a historian is apparently about to be published, I may revise this opinion.

Strongly recommended.
Tim Koerner, June 2009

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
Having read this author's biography of Lincoln (Malice Toward None) I was so impressed with his writing style and story telling that I wanted to stick with him.

This book reads well. I recommend it. I enjoyed it. The book reads like a novel and seemed fairly comprehensive, thought it's under 400 pages and moves along at a comfortable pace. It provides plenty of food for thought about Brown. Having always heard that Brown was a mad-man, I was pleased to find that his story is much more than that.

As far as dismissing John Brown as a crazy, consider how many renowned people of his day he befriended and persuaded to back his endeavors! Were they all crazy too?

The book revealed for me the political / social / religious dynamics of those wild times in a meaningful way. If the issue of John Brown comes up for discussion, I now feel confident to participate.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid history and decent prose.
There are a lot of books on Brown, for good reason.He is a fascinating figure, a sort of mythical creature.Many books dumb this aspect down through their soggy prose and endless fact-logging, but the prose in this book is not too bad.Oates doesn't relate too much worthless information, which is common in the social sciences.I remember reading one Brown biography that debated whether his cabin was made out of pine or oak.Many historians cannot understand that not all pieces of information were created equal.

Seriously though, the prose here is decent and the history seems fairly accurate.There are some passages that are poetic in their way, and I was affected by many aspects of Brown's personality and U.S. History that Oates managed to describe quite well.Times of revolution can make for excellent reading, especially when the world today seems very difficult to change.Brown tried to change it, and in the minds of many, he did.So, for those unfamiliar with Brown, he makes for a good story.

It is obvious at times that Oates is angling to not "alienate" the Southern reader.He talks about how Southerners "had a right to be scared" and makes the argument that slavery-accepting Southerners were not such bad people, etc.Racism was widespread, only slightly less so in the North, so this is partially reasonable.However, there is hardly any material about how disgusting slavery really was.There are good reasons that John Brown was violently opposed.Basically, Oates is trying to be "balanced."What that means is he is giving both sides of the argument, even when one of them has been proven to be self-evidently stronger.Slavery was wrong, and it died out, and good riddance to the Southerners who accepted and perpetuated it.

If you want to read about how nasty slavery really was, and I recommend that you do if you are open-minded about judging characters such as Brown, then you can start with some of the slave narratives, for example the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Mary Prince.

John Brown was one of the few people who doesn't just stand around and watch while injustices abound.He acts, and that is the reason that many cannot stand him.He is a profoundly moral person, and that is threatening to people who are not.They cannot understand that it is better to kill a thousand men then to let millions rot in slavery.

Highly recommended, just don't get thrown off by the "balance."

4-0 out of 5 stars Strike the Blow- The Story of a Revolutionary Abolitionist
Please note that the substance of the following review has been used in the review of W.B. Dubois's book on John Brown reviewed elsewhere. Both books offer a good prospective on the life of John Brown and can be profitably read together. Dubois's book is a decent historical narrative of Brown's life from an earlier time and in a more partisan perspective. Oates book reflects more modern academic methods of analysis and research and tackles the weaknesses in other interpretations. In that sense, Oates book is close to the definitive study of John Brown's life. Most importantly, both books reflect a Northern view of Brown exploits previously long absent from the historical record. My review reflects the need to study an important American fighter for justice and for today's generation to learn some lessons from his life.

I would like to make a few comments on the role of Captain John Brown and his struggle at Harper's Ferry in 1859 in the history of the black liberation struggle. This is appropriate as I am writing this review during Black History Month of 2006. Unfortunately John Brown continues to remain one of the very few white heroes of the revolutionary struggle for black liberation.

From fairly early in my youth I knew the name John Brown and was swept up by the romance surrounding his exploits at Harpers Ferry.For example, I knew that the great anthem of the Civil War -The Battle Hymn of the Republic had a prior existence as a tribute to John Brown. I, however, was then neither familiar with the import of his exploits for the black liberation struggle nor knew much about the specifics of the politics of the various tendencies in the struggle against slavery. I certainly knew nothing then of Brown's (and his sons) prior military exploits in the Kansas wars against the expansion of slavery. If one understands the ongoing nature of his commitment to struggle one can only conclude that his was indeed a man on a mission. Those exploits also render absurd a very convenient myth about his `madness'. This is a political man and to these eyes a very worthy one. In the context of the turmoil of the times he was only the most courageous and audacious revolutionary in the struggle against slavery in America.

Whether or not John Brown knew that his strategy would, in the short term, be defeated is a matter of dispute. Reams of paper have been spent proving the military foolhardiness of his scheme at Harper's Ferry. This misses the essential political point that militant action- not continuing parliamentary maneuvering advocated by other abolitionists- had become necessary.What is not in dispute is that Brown considered himself a true Calvinist avenging angel in the struggle against slavery and more importantly acted on that belief. In short, he was committed to bring justice to the black masses. This is why his exploits and memory stay alive after over 150 years.

Brown and his small integrated band of brothers fought bravely and coolly against great odds. Ten of Brown's men were killed including two of his sons. Five were captured, tried and executed, including Brown. These results are almost inevitable when one takes up a revolutionary struggle against the old order and one is not victorious. One need only think of, for example, the fate of the defenders of the Paris Commune in 1871.One can fault Brown on this or that tactical maneuver. Nevertheless he and the others bore themselves bravely in defeat. As we are all too painfully familiar there are defeats of the oppressed that lead nowhere. One thinks of the defeat of the Chinese Revolution in the 1920's. There other defeats that galvanize others into action. This is how Brown's actions should be measured by history.

Militarily defeated at Harpers Ferry, Brown's political mission to destroy slavery by force of arms nevertheless continued to galvanize important elements in the North at the expense of the pacifistic non-resistant Garrisonian political program for struggle against slavery. Many writers on Brown who reduce his actions to that of a `madman' still cannot believe that his road proved more appropriate to end slavery than either non-resistance or gradualism. That alone makes short shrift of such theories. Historians and others have misinterpreted later events such as the Bolshevik strategy which led to Russian Revolution in October 1917. More recently, we saw this same incomprehension concerning the victory of the Vietnamese against overwhelming military superior forces. Needless to say, all these events continue to be revised by some historians to take the sting out of there proper political implications.

... Read more

by Stephen B. Oates
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1961)

Asin: B0041E5T84
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice review of Confederate cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi
Overall, the Civil War taking place west of the Mississippi (or the Trans-Mississippi, to use another term) is relatively undercovered in writing on the War Between the States. Even more undercovered would be specialized branches of the military--such as cavalry.

This volume focuses on Confederate cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi. Oates notes that (Page xiii) ". . .Trans-Mississippi cavalrymen did many noteworthy things during the war, and they did them out of courage and determination to save a cause which they considered just." The book is decently written. Sometimes, I get the impression that Oates may romanticize Southern cavalry somewhat, but this is scarcely a "deal breaker."

The bookexplores such subjects as the raids into Missouri by Sterling Price ("Old Pap"), a rather undistinguished commanding officer. Other officers examined--JO Shelby, Ben McCulloch, and Tom Green. Combat in the West was not on the same scale as that east of the Mississippi.

Some nice features: Appendix A lists all regiments/battalionsand commanders west of the Mississippi; Appendix C outlines the structure of Price's cavalry corps, with divisions commanded by James Fagan, John Marmaduke (and, later, John Clark), and Joseph O. (Jo) Shelby.

The book relates the various battles fought by Confederate cavalry in the region--and notes that cavalry units and some of their leaders fought to the very end and even left for Mexico to avoid surrender after Appomattox.

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and useful niche work about CSA cavalry.
Note:In my original review I gave this work 4 stars, but I would now drop it a notch to 3 (if Amazon's system would allow me to change it) because of some errors I found.I don't believe these were intentional misrepresentations or a sign of bias, but instead indicate that the author did not examine some post war accounts as critically as he should.In particular, Oates' coverage of Marmaduke's First Missouri Raid and battles of Springfield and Hartville are at odds with both CSA and US After Action reports in the Official Records.

Update of my review:
As the author warns in the preface this is a difficult work to classify (and therefore review) because of its unusual focus.It is devoted to an overview of CSA cavalry operations West of the Mississippi.The author states that this is an adaptation of his thesis work and is unnecessarily humble about the nature of the book.Being his earliest work, some errors and lack of familiarity with some details become apparent later.

The book is well written and largely in narrative form covers the development, actions, and demise of CSA cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi theatre.It is an entertaining read because it fluidly covers the war from beginning to end from the Trans-Mississippi cavalryman's perspective. The great raids in Missouri are reviewed in narrative form with campaign maps.While I don't sense direct bias by the author, he does accept some post-war Confederate accounts without the necessary critical fact checking.

Sprinkled throughout are useful reference tables of the number of regiments and men raised in cavalry service, the cost of equipment, and the supply of horses. Following that is a list of units by state with their various field grade officers.So while I selected this work to get a better sense of perspective, I also found that it has become a useful reference for a portion of the war that is otherwise poorly represented in the historical record.

I recommend this work to anyone interested in better understanding the nature of warfare in the Trans-Mississippi, and particularly those interested in the cavalry action/raids in Missouri and Arkansas.However, the reader is cautioned not to accept the battle accounts without cross checking details. ... Read more

13. With Malice Toward None
by Stephen B. Oates
 Paperback: Pages (1978-02-07)
list price: US$2.95
Isbn: 0451616278
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14. Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 240 Pages (1994-01-05)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$7.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060924721
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Stephen B. Oates discerns the historical truth from the mythical legend that surrounds Lincoln in this original and fascinating portrait of America's 16th president. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible purchase!
I had a very difficult time trying to locate this selection.A professor had recommended this particular selection for an upcoming class.I am a senior citizen and since as a retired teacher I am dedicated to lifelong learning, I enrolled in an Osher Lifelong Learning class on the Roaring 20's.At the conclusion of the class, the instructor recommended this particular selction on an upcoming class on Abraham Lincoln.Amazon came to my rescue and now I am prepared for my class and a closer look at our 16th president.It is a marvelous, introspective read.

4-0 out of 5 stars The real man behind the myth.
Abraham Lincoln was a great man but between the time of his murder and now, people have made him a myth.However, Lincoln was a man and human, and he was not perfect.Many people judge him by his mistakes, and more revere the myth, but Lincoln grew as a man and leader.His views evolved for the betterment of both himself and his country.Judgement based on his myth or his faults are not valid.Oates' book shows Lincoln in his true human form with all his warts and abilities.My admiration of Lincoln grew with the image of him passing his weaknesses and errors and becoming a strong leader.

This is a nice read about a true American hero.The author's book shows Lincoln in all his human ability.During the year celebrating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, this is a great book to read and understand the true Lincoln.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Man Greater than the Myths
In this small but valuable volume, Oates explores the reality beyond the two sources of Lincoln myth: the primary myth of a saintly and folkloric Lincoln of Carl Sandburg and a secondary myth of the 'white honky' Lincoln of the 1970's revisionists. Oates emphasizes that Lincoln drew deeply upon the "spirit of his age", which was a profoundly revolutionary time across the world. Oates relates how Lincoln absorbed one of the core lessons of America from the example of Henry Clay: : "in this country one can scarcely be so poor, but that, if he will, he can acquire sufficient education to get through the world respectably".

That slavery was the cause of the Civil War is beyond all doubt. As Oates explains, however, the North did not go to war to free the slaves. In the standard phrasing, the North went to war to 'preserve the union'. Oates explores Lincoln's fears that the spread of slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision would lead to the destruction of democratic society. The debate then still raged on the world stage whether a republican form of government could last. Lincoln rejected the "ingenious sophism" that states could freely leave the Union. "With rebellion thus sugar coated [southern leaders] have been drugging the public mind of their section for more than thirty years." Secession posed nothing less than a final challenge to popular government. If a minority could destroy the government any time it felt aggrieved, then no government could endure. Thus the war had to be fought to preserve not just the American Republic, but the possibility of republican government.

Lincoln did in fact oppose slavery from early on. His views on racial matters apart from slavery became more fully progressive over time. Lincoln, however, hoped that slavery would slowly melt away in a losing competition with free labor and that liberated slaves would resettle in Africa. It is part of Lincoln's greatness that he later gave up these views. Oates explores this evolution in his thinking. Oates debunks the notion that the Emancipation Proclamation was unimportant in liberating the slaves. Oates also refutes the notion that Lincoln would have favored an easy hand during Reconstruction. On the contrary, the evidence strongly suggests he would have led the so-called Radical Republicans.

Highly recommended for any reader with an interest in Lincoln, the Civil War era, or really pretty much any American.

2-0 out of 5 stars It did not elaborate on the question of Lincoln's parentage.
As an amateur genealogist I discovered that I was a sixth cousin, five times removed to President Abraham Lincoln through the Lincoln and Holmes families. On page 21 ( Abraham Lincoln, The man Behind The Myths )Mr. Oates wrote that there was a mistaken belief that Thomas Lincoln wasnot Abraham's real father rather it was a Senator John C. Calhoun or aHenry Clay. If this was true it would mean that I was not related toPresident Abraham Lincoln. How would such a rumour start ? Is there anydocumented evidence that Nancy Lincoln had an affair with one of these menwhile being married to Thomas Lincoln.At the time I am trying tolocate Stephen B. Oates so I can get this matter cleared up. Sincerely, Mr. Blair E. Bartlett, 87 Shillington Road, Saint John, NewBrunswick, Canada, E2J 4K7 1-506-696-6175

5-0 out of 5 stars Separating mythos from the mortal
We invented Abraham Lincoln.Not the man, of course, but the myth, that solemn and statuesque giant memorialized eternally overlooking the Capitol mall.The power of that myth and the quiet dignity of its personage dwarfs us all.But the myth is not the man.Myths never are.Stephen Oates in his _Abraham Lincoln, The Man Behind the Myths_, does not seek to diminish the man but rather to clarify him, separating the mythos from the mortal.And it is not an undaunting task, it seems, for overly soon after Lincoln's tragic end the mills began to churn.The public's shredding of the White House interior for mementos while Mary Lincoln lay debilitated in the next room seems symbolic of the wolfpack mentality in Washington even today.And every new memoir published by another family acquaintance of the Lincoln's almost always got it wrong, and tore anew at the heart of the family.We may not have memorialized and glorified our modern-day tragic heroes to such an extent, for we have simultaneously tried to scandalize them.But the tabloid trade it seems has always been a yellow paper.Even Lincoln was vilified in his time and after.He was, Oates, reminds us, one of the most unpopular living presidents of our history.But though the legacy ballooned to heroic proportions after his passing, the man seems to have been lost in it all, remaining only in the hearts of the family leaving quietly and unattended down the steps of the White House never to return. ... Read more

15. Visions of Glory: Texans on the Southwestern Frontier
by Stephen B. Oates
 Hardcover: 230 Pages (1970-11)
-- used & new: US$12.95
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Asin: 0806108983
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16. William Faulkner. Sein Leben. Sein Werk.
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 499 Pages (1997-08-01)

Isbn: 3257229763
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17. Let the Trumpet Sound: Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 240 Pages (1998-09-22)
list price: US$26.85 -- used & new: US$11.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0862418372
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Product Description
In a new edition of this biography, the author explores the motives, movements and message of the famous Civil Rights campaigner. ... Read more

18. The Whirlwind of War: Voices of the Storm, 1861-1865 (Voices of the Storm)
by Stephen B. Oates
Paperback: 864 Pages (1999-07-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.90
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Asin: B000H2M6SU
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Whirlwind of War is the second book in prize-winning historian and biographer Stephen B. Oates' extraordinary Voices of the Storm trilogy, which began with The Approaching Fury, Oates' compelling narrative about the 40 tumultuous years that led to "America's Armageddon."

An intensely dramatic and intimate portrayal of the people, events, influences and consequences of the American Civil War, The Whirlwind of War builds on the great themes and follows many of the important figures that were introduced in The Approaching Fury.

Oates brings his moving narrative of the complex, bloody and destructive war to vivid and memorable life by writing in the first person, impersonating the voices and assuming the viewpoints of several of the principal figures: the rival presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis; the rival generals, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman; the great black abolitionist, editor and orator, Frederick Douglass; the young Union battlefield nurse, Cornelia Hancock; the brilliant head of the Chicago Sanitary Commission and cocreator of the northern Sanitary Fair, Mary Livermore; the Confederate socialite and political insider, Mary Boykin Chesnut; the assassin, John Wilkes Booth; and the greatest poet of the era, Walt Whitman, who speaks in the coda about the meaning of war and Lincoln's death.

As the book moves through the war years, the interconnecting dramatic monologues lend passion and a strong sense of immediacy and freshness to the story. The protagonist in one monologue becomes the antagonist in another. Each speaker takes his or her turn onstage, serving as narrator for critical events in which he or she was the major instigator and participant or eyewitness.

Often revisionist but always persuasive, Oates brings powerful new insights, facts and conclusions to his narrative. For example, drawing on his own research and that of modern technical scholarship on the assassination, Oates convincingly describes Booth as a Confederate agent, working with the approval and support of the highest authorities in Richmond, probably Jefferson Davis himself, and explains how his plots to abduct and then to assassinate Lincoln were part of several schemes to be executed by rebel secret service men.

Oates also portrays Sherman, Lee, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln and Mary Lincoln in new and in-depth ways. Thus they are seen in a more realistic light, rather than how they have become positively or negatively mythologized over the years.

Exciting, powerful, highly revealing and driven by character and narrative, The Whirlwind of War makes a significant contribution to American and Civil War literature, and its people and voices will linger long in our memory.Amazon.com Review
The middle book in an anticipated trilogy, The Whirlwind ofWar is a unique study of the Civil War. Oates recounts the greatstruggle through a series of first-person monologues told in thevoices of prominent figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee,Jefferson Davis, William Tecumseh Sherman, Mary Boykin Chestnut,Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, John Wilkes Booth, andothers. This original narrative technique brings a kind of freshnessto an old and familiar story. It seems as if the characters speakdirectly to the reader; and Oates, an accomplished historian andbiographer, is scrupulous about sticking as close to the historicalrecord as he can. The book's one weakness is that it doesn't deliver atotally comprehensive telling of the Civil War despite its length ofmore than 700 pages. But the flip side is its strength: the way ithelps readers understand the motives, perceptions, and behavior of theCivil War's most important actors. Sometimes it seems like there aretoo many books written on the Civil War. Oates nonetheless provides awelcome contribution to the field. --John Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Hard Mind Candy That Breaks Your Teeth
Got to read it for a term paper for a class on the Civil War.It was illuminating and is a treasure trove of references to other books to read and different directions to go in your study of the war.BUT as a reference for an 8-10 page essay...holy mother is it terrible.Please note I'm addressing the organization of the book and not the content/style.

The table of contents is only each year, even though the monologues are numbered.There is absolutely no "outsider" or "narrator" to recap what the heck everyone's talking about or even just alluding to.(Such as the 20-odd pages on Gettysburg/Longstreet; as someone who does not yet understand military jargon or what it even means to "take a hill," this and other instances caused my eyes to glaze over.)

In all fairness, a lot of things are spelled out while completely in keeping with the "voice."Abatis is defined by at least two different "characters," for example.

Perhaps my complaints with the book are simply the wages of my own ignorance--the book is about a war, and political agitations before the war are more my strong suit.

If you have a guy who can watch like, the military channel or understands war jargon and isn't surrounded by Civil War books already, this is an awesomely great book for him.And he'll love Sherman.

4-0 out of 5 stars What the participants might have thought at the time.
Oates's treatment of the Civil War through fictionalized statements by major participants is a notable achievement.It really is not a military history of the war, but a history of what these participants thought about the war as it progressed.There are some weaknesses to this approach, mostly that the author must choose one version of some events under debate by historians without being able to outline the debate, as might be done in a conventional history.Also, such fictionalization must remain conjectural, even though in Oates's case it is buttressed by great research, and Oates must necessarily limit himself to relatively few participants.Still, by taking seriously the thoughts and opinions of those involved, Oates gives us a much more "alive" picture of the war as it unfolded.Although it took me a few pages to become accustomed to the method, I was impressed by the overall effect.

5-0 out of 5 stars A innovative and entertaining approach to Civil War history.
"The Whirlwind of War" is a very well written book about the American Civil War, with an especially innovative approach. Author Stephen B. Oates interweaves imaginary first-person written accounts ofeleven of the war'skey figures - among them Abraham Lincoln, JeffersonDavis, U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, William T. Sherman,Mary Boykin Chesnutand Mary Livermore - to present the story of America's most tragic war adramatic and compelling way.

Although the first-person soliloquies arefictional, they are based on obviously extensive and meticulous research,and are filled with historical facts which are detailed and accurate. Actually,Oates adds little in the way of new historical data orinterpretation in this book, although the new information on John WilkesBooth, and the descriptions of the Northern hospital camps by CorneliaHancockmake compelling reading.What I found most fascinating about"The Whirlwind of War" was how effectively Oates was able tobring the characters' personalities so much to life in their soliloquies. Oates doesn't pretend to try to write in the style of Lincoln, Davis,Grant, or the others; still, he allows their personalities to shine throughcompletely.I felt I really got to know the tormented Abraham Lincoln, thelaconic U.S. Grant, the profane, manic-depressive William T. Sherman, thereserved and dignified Robert E. Lee, and the bitter Jefferson Davisthrough their first-person accounts.

Oates' imaginative writing in"The Whirlwind of War" makes it an especially entertaining book,one which gives readers an accurate and reasonably detailed understandingof the people and events which made up America's bloodiest conflict. Highly recommended!

2-0 out of 5 stars not up to his other works
I found this book tiresome compared to part one [Voices of the Storm] and his other biographies[Lincoln and Martin Luther King] which are outstanding and recommended. The vehicle he uses --e.g. 11 voices ofhistorical figures fromthe War who alternate perspectives from chapter tochapter is contrived,of questionable authenticity in many segments andeventually, to me, distracting. In volume one this technique gave me asense of political issues --it just was not as effective in this volumewhich focused mostly on military issues. A military history needs maps anddiagrams to give the reader a sense of what was happening, where and when.The absence of such support weakened that aspect of the story. McPherson'sBattle Cry of Freedom is a better source for information on the flow of theCivil War than this volume.

4-0 out of 5 stars Accurate portrait of Lee-Longstreet Gettysburg controversy
A good addition to the corpus of historical literature about America's most horrendous war and tragedy.

Oates' treatment of Lee, Longstreet, et al, at Gettysburg is solid and well-documented.To consider as a"popular Civil War myth" Longstreet's sulking, insubordinate, andultimately devastating performance at Gettysburg, as another reviewer does,is an opinion, and an innacurate one at that--and if Glenn Tucker believesas such, he is misguided as well.

Our day is replete with"historians" who amass selective mountains of facts and figuresto arrive at the pre-ordained, and often incorrect, conclusions theydesire.Glenn Tucker, Alan Nolan, and Michael Shaara notwithstanding,"Old Pete" Longstreet demonstrated an obstinate lack ofcooperation with and support for his commanding officer's orders atGettysburg, as well as a half-hearted effort at positioning his First Corpsfor battle on the second day of that engagement--all the while urging Leeon to Longstreet's own course of action that Lee wisely considered andrejected.

Lee wanted an early morning attack on the second day--not thethird.His mistake was in placing similar trust in lesser corps commanderslike Longstreet and Ewell as he had in Stonewall Jackson.On the eveningof the first day at Gettysburg, Lee said, with Longstreet present, "Ifthe enemy is there in the morning, I mean to attack him."The enemywas there, Longstreet had abundant time to get his men there, and StonewallJackson would not have needed a picture drawn for him (Second Bull Run,Chancellorsville, etc.)--nor would he have rebelled against the authorityover him.

The Confederates came within an eyelash of overruning theFederals on the second day at Gettysburg.Without the eight hours or so ofadditional preparation time provided Meade's army by Longstreet'sfoot-dragging, what do you think would have been the result? ... Read more

19. The Fires of Jubilee (Mentor)
by Stephen B. Oates
 Paperback: 214 Pages (1982-09-07)
list price: US$3.50
Isbn: 0451621417
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A penetrating reconstruction of the most disturbing and crucial slave uprising in America's history. ... Read more

20. Our Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln, John Brown and the Civil War Era
by Stephen B. Oates
 Paperback: 160 Pages (1983-08)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0870233971
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Brown and His Judges
Oates provides an overview of the civil war comparable to many other texts but where he earns his five stars is on the two chapters on John Brown. This book was part of a mega-load of information I gathered for a thesis during my graduate studies.In the texts I gathered John Brown was either an immortal hero or a psychopathic murderer.Each author found Brown either right or wrong.Where Oates is an exception is that he examined past works on Brown, providing the arguments for good or bad and then gave the documented facts for the reader to come to their conclusions.Consequently, all former texts had flaws and omissions because authors chose a side of this controversial figure and wrote accordingly.Oates bounces from book to book filling in holes and striking what is myth and what is factless opinion.So far in my findings this is the best unbiased look at the life of John Brown.It should be read following a biography on Brown as Oates does not write a life story but rather sifts through the flaws of myths and heroism.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not very good
This work of essays about Civil War era people isn't well done at all.While some material, especially on Lincoln, is good the tome lags in many areas.For example, the author entertains the asinine theory that theSouthern states were plotting to extend slavery into the North prior to theCivil War.Nothing could have been further from the truth.Also theauthor ignores the possibility that the reason that the South seceded fromthe Union was not that they didn't believe Lincoln's promise about notinterfering with slavery but that they were afraid of loosing the balanceof power in the senate.This scenario would have surely happened ifslavery was prevented from spreading.Another example of how lacklusterthe book is the chapter on the Old West included for no apparent reasonother than to provide the author an opportunity to needlessly attack JohnWayne, Nixon, and Paul Harvey about individualism.The author contendsthat it didn't exist in the Old West but he is wrong.While certain thingsbrought people together, most settlers were too far away to do this on adaily basis.This is a prime reason why the pioneers were such easypickings for Indian war parties, outlaws, and others like them.GeneralSherman, who was in charge for the defense of the West for a time, statedthis as a prime reason why the army couldn't protect all of the settlers. There are many more books worth a serious reader's time than this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Overblown, overrated, overpriced psedo-history
This book is one of the worst I've come across about the Civil War era.The chapters on Lincoln will suffice in showing the overall value of the work.While some characterizations of Lincoln are on the money, the authorcompletely and inexcusably overlooks the fallacies in Lincoln's views onslavery.For example, during the Lincoln-Douglas debates the authorignores Lincoln's view that blacks should be free yet shouldn't vote,intermarry, serve in the militia etc.The author also invokes too manytimes the worn-out cliche of the stereotypical southerner who wants tolynch blacks at every turn.Also a negative point in the book is the weirdinclusion of a chapter on the myth of the Old West.The author strangelyattacks John Wayne and Paul Harvey (!?) for daring to believe thatindividualism reigned in the Old West.Also the author exposes someliberal racism in implying that blacks and Indians don't need to "makeit on the own."Pick up some other book on the Civil War and it willsurely be worth your time. ... Read more

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