A Stillness at Appomattox has ratings and reviews. Eric said: Appomattox, one of “the homely American place-names made dreadful by war.” Appoma. Recounting the final year of the Civil War, this classic volume by Bruce Catton won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence. Find great deals on eBay for A Stillness at Appomattox in Books on Antiquarian and Collectibles. Shop with confidence.

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A Stillness at Appomattox

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. When first published inBruce Catton, our foremost Civil War historian was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in nonfiction.

Paperback1st Anchor Books edpages. Published August 1st by Anchor Books first published January Army of the Potomac 3. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about A Stillness at Appomattoxplease sign up. But did he know what he was talking about re what caused it? I don’t think so http: Robert LoBretto Not sure why you think he should have written about the reasons that caused the Civil War in this trilogy.

For the name of this trilogy is, after all …more Not sure why you think aappomattox should have written about the reasons that caused the Civil War in this trilogy.

For the name of this trilogy is, after all – The Army of the Potomac. He writes about the battles that the army fought and the collective mentality of the rank and file and the leadership You are not looking hard enough if you can’t find books about wtillness causes of the war, but you won’t find them in this outstanding trilogy less.

Re Bruce Catton’s trilogies? There is a Centennial History trilogy i. Amazon with different titles than Army of the Potomac trilogy.

But people seem to review them almost interchangeably. Stillness at Appomattox doesn’t seem to be part of the Civil War Centennial trilogy. With lots of other reading I’ve done inc. Shelby Foote, which of these first? Keith Don’t know if you got an answer, but they are different trilogies.

A Stillness at Appomattox is sitllness three of a history of the Army stilllness the Potomac …more Don’t know if you got an answer, but they are different trilogies.

A Stillness at Appomattox is volume three of a history of the Army of the Potomac that fought primarily in Viriginia. The other two volumes are Mr. Lincoln’s Army and Glory Road. The Centennial history covers the entire war and all the armies and politicians.

The Army of the Potomac set is a much more entertaining less dry read in my opinion. I hope this helps! See 2 questions about A Stillness at Appomattox…. Lists with This Book. And then you have the fight-grounds and sites of massacre from three centuries of Indian Wars, which seem to fall on either side of a fine line separating the comical Tippecanoe, Little Big Horn from the weirdly resonant Fallen Timbers, Wounded Knee. I could read about this war indefinitely—especially the final twelvemonth scourge.


Every new narrative makes me a rapt listener at the Homeric campfire.

A Stillness at Appomattox

Tell me again how it went. Every American generation beginning with the one that fought has done some kind of literary justice to this transformative conflict—our Great War and catalyst of modernity, as Gertrude Stein saw it. Catton, writing in the early s about black troops at the Crater, is less sociologically comprehensive but just as affecting as Slotkin, a dedicated scholar of race relations, writing in As a storyteller, Catton makes particularly his own the weariness of the men.

Catton is also very eloquent on the disappearance of celebrated units under the wheels stillnezs war. View all 11 comments. Nov 27, Faith rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was not just battle strategy as I had feared that it would be.

It was very readable and felt like the author had actually interviewed the troops. It explored the personalities behind the successes and failures. The battle accounts were quite vivid. I intend to read more of his books. Aug 26, Evan rated it it appomatyox amazing Shelves: This is not a book. It is a holy thing. It’s holy for what it says, how it says it and how well it understands it.

It is not read, it is lived. It is experienced in short bursts and set aside, so that you can close your eyes and imagine and contemplate and feel, and pay all proper homage — as you try to grasp its enormity. I’ve been to Civil War cemeteries where thousands of headstones radiate in all directions, endlessly, but even that does not make me feel the accumulated weight of death and s This is not a book. I’ve been to Civil War cemeteries where thousands of headstones radiate in all directions, endlessly, but even that does not make sfillness feel the accumulated weight of death and struggle and pain like this book does.

Bruce Catton felt the Civil War down to his very marrow. It percolated and boiled hot in his blood and animated his very being.

A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton | : Books

It inflamed his imagination. His love for it was passionate. His rumination on it was deep and profound. Xt feeling for it created electricity that shot to his fingers and moved them to write beautiful words about a terrible and momentous time. And because of that, he wrote this; this inexpressibly beautiful and moving account of horror and hope. It is one of the very greatest books I have ever appokattox the pleasure to read. This, my friends, is how it’s done. Trotting out superlatives for this is like someone who’s too late for the party arriving with appetizers.

What can I possibly add that hasn’t already has been said? The book is famous, and justly so, and it’s actually a relief to see that it is this ztillness, because my elevated hopes were not only not dashed but amply fulfilled and exceeded.

Catton set a standard for popular histories that is rarely equalled yes, I know, Mr. Shelby Foote; he is imminent. But there I am, with the superlatives I said I wouldn’t attempt. I was moved, not just by the content, and not appomattoox by how beautifully it was stated, but by the fact that someone wrote this, period.


I was moved by the fact that someone achieved this in a book. The achievement alone moves apppmattox. The book opens dreamily at a celebratory ball where soldiers and their most-favored ladies danced in a makeshift, large pine-scented hall, arrayed with flags and chandeliers.

There are pencil illustrations of this ball on the Library of Congress website that match Catton’s description; and seeing them makes for a haunting supplement to the reading. It was the Washington’s Birthday Ball of Feb.

Its soldierly participants had no idea their war would drag on for another year, and this evening of finery and dance and civility was an attempt to suspend time and sublimate, if just a little, the inevitability of the savage battles soon to come, for they had no way of knowing that General Grant was about to unleash a new kind of war rarely seen in the memories of history.

It would be total war.

There would be no quarter, no letup, no mercy, and scorched earth, and all to the last man if necessary. Catton makes us know that very few of the men dancing on this night would long last, and that the women with whom they danced would lose them. From there, Catton introduces leaders, battles, incidents, and issues that often seem so disparate that they shouldn’t fit so smoothly together into a flowing narrative, and yet they do stjllness pause.

It is the mark of someone who knows his subject — this war — inside and out; who knows it so well that telling it with absolute mastery, authority, and with more than a little poetry is second nature to him.

These are words written not just out sttillness duty to scholarship but in the service of love. Catton loved his subject. And this is a love letter to it. A bittersweet love letter from someone who sees the terrible beauty in unimaginable pain and in stubbornly clutched appomattox. Some might say this is a “history written by the victors” text, and certainly the book’s slant is Northern. The book is, after all, largely about the trials and tribulations of the much-aggrieved Army of the Potomac.

But there is balance aplenty, because Catton respects all of his combatants, and his over-arching poetry is the driving sensibility here, not how many column inches are devoted appomattox this or that side. This is about how the war was won, by dint of a thousand cuts to all. The Germanic-order gene in me says I am doing all wrong starting with the third of Catton’s Army of the Potomac trilogy instead of starting with the first and proceeding therefrom.

But I don’t listen to that spoilsport anymore. Besides, I appkmattox Catton’s The Civil War reduction overview primer of the war in advance so I knew my place in the order of things.

I am glad I have finally come to the Civil War, and to Catton.