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Posted at 9:18 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Frank J. Williams: What are the best new Civil War books?

By Frank J. Williams

Chairman of The Lincoln Forum

To me, some of the best new Civil War books include "The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865" edited with commentary by Harold Holzer and Craig L. Symonds. This massive volume not only includes over 600 articles from the "Times" but a companion DVD of every article (over 10,000) published by the paper on the war. This original source material is a great way to start the sesquicentennial.

Douglas R. Edgerton's "Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and the Election That brought on the Civil War " is the first book on the 1860 election since the 1940s and is full of information about the Southern conspiracy to deny Douglas the presidency. The central theme of Eric Foner's perceptive study, "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery" is that Lincoln was able to grow and evolved so that his views toward slavery and race changed for the better.

By Frank J. Williams  | November 30, 2010; 9:18 AM ET
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