James M. Mcpherson's What They Fought For 1861-1865

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The Civil War was a devastating war that wiped out much of America’s population. The book written by James M. McPherson, What They Fought For 1861-1865, describes the views of the soldiers that fought in the war. McPherson uses letters left behind written by different civil war soldiers to portray a more round view of actions that took place on the battlegrounds. McPherson’s thesis does not present from both sides of the war what the soldiers, volunteers and enlisted men, of the Civil War had to faced, how they dealt with their emotions and experiences, the bond made between comrades, and how it affect their overall psychological, physical, and mental well-being of each combatant. This book contains diary entries from Union soldiers that …show more content…
There are a few items; such as pictures, actual letters, or diaries that would have made the story even more interesting. He could have shown the letters on a page and then discussed them in the next chapter. Actual copy of the letters and diaries within the book prior to a chapter or after would help to get the full picture of what the soldiers went through and what is talked about. It would have been nice to see him focus on just the north in one chapter, the south in another, and so on. The writing style was not easy to follow reading. It was hard to determine who said what …show more content…
James McPherson chosen book length was perfect. It kept the book on point without being overzealous with the information. The writing was very detailed which help to capture his ideas. The use of the diaries and letters written by the Civil War heroes gave the book more depth and reality. McPherson does not change any of the verbiage from the letters or quotes that he used from the war heroes in his book, which help keep it close to reality. The book is set up, starts at the beginning of the Civil War, and ends up with Lincoln as president. This made the book easier to flow using that method. The Civil War was a turning point in America’s society. We learned a lot as nation from that war. This war tore Americans apart to and brought them back together. McPherson’s book What They Fought For 1861-1865, sheds light on feelings, actions, and events that have not always been brought to light with regard to the Civil War. The uncandid use of the letters and diary help to reveal and give a better understanding of the war through the actual people that lived

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