A fabulous book...one of the better volumes written on the battle in many years.-Civil War News
For many Americans, the name Gettysburg conjures up images of the greatest battle ever fought on American soil, where the country's fate was ultimately decided. A former archivist and historian at Gettysburg himself, Desjardin explores the building of this legend and explains that many of the battle's stories are in fact myths perpetuated for political, social, and often egotistical reasons. Examples include the battle's origins (not the result of large stockpiles of shoes), the importance of the last day of fighting (in many ways, Day 2 was more pivotal), and the demonizing of Longstreet because of the delayed "dawn attack" of July 2 (there is no evidence that Lee actually ordered a dawn attack). He also examines the major players who have shaped our perception of the war. The book is well researched and enjoyable to read, although some significant legends are only briefly explored (e.g., Ewell's decision to stop fighting on the night of July 1). Sure to be controversial among Civil War buffs, this work is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Robert Flatley, Kutztown Univ., PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.