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Strategic Battlesby Yancey, Diane
Publisher: Lucent Books
Issue: Summer 2000
The five volumes that compose the American War Library's Civil War series survey the conflict's causes, leaders, battles, and outcome. In Lincoln and the Abolition of Slavery, Russell Roberts uses John Brown, the 1860 election, and the role of blacks in the War to explicate slavery's role in the festering regional hostilities. Diane Yancey sketches the lives of politicians, abolitionists, military commanders, and prominent women in Leaders of the North and South. Weapon technology, cavalry equipment, artillery, naval warfare, and espionage are featured in Weapons of War by Gail B. Stewart. Seven key battles or campaigns are discussed in Diane Yancey's Strategic Battles, along with ironclad engagements and postwar reunions. The common soldiers' perspective is depicted in James A. Corrick's Life Among the Soldiers and Cavalry through such experiences as enlistment, camp food, grooming, and mutiny. Although the books overlap in some places, they generally complement each other in subject matter. Each volume offers footnotes and interesting sidebars about topics such as the Whig party and General Meade's horse Old Baldy. Some include a glossary or a chronology. Overall, the series would enrich a middle school-level library or bookshelf.