The Wilderness, Vicksburg – like most Americans, I recognize these names from the Civil War, but this wonderful book brought them to life for me. Chernow has written history that reads like fiction, setting the context, describing the people and events, drawing one into the era so that it is very difficult to put the book down, always wanting to read just one more chapter. Considering the 900-plus pages, that was a difficulty that had to be overcome more than once. I was surprised by my emotional involvement, especially in the final chapter, which tells of Grant’s decline and death. This Grant was much more than the man I had previously thought he was. A book definitely worth reading.

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