Book Review: The Civil War: A Visual History

September 27, 2011


“Civil War: A Visual History” is a coffee table book put out by Parragon Books (website | Twitter) to commemorate the 150thanniversary. While the book is billed as a coffee table book, it is of the smaller variety and is portable.

  • 224 pages
  • Publisher: Parragon Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1445440377

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “The Civil War: A Visual History” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.

Thoughts on: The Civil War: A Visual HistoryMy rating for The Civil War: A Visual History5
Buy The Civil War: A Visual History from Ama­zon*


“Civil War: A Visual History” is an amazing book which will make you stop and reflect on the Civil War and all it encompassed. The book gives a glimpse into the years before, during and after the Civil War.

I have gone through the book several times; one time is simply not enough. The collection is not just of photographs, but also political cartoons, playing cards, newspaper articles and my favorite – personal photos. I’ve brought this book to work and had many people stop by my desk to take a look, they were all impressed with the imagery and the quality of the book.
Granted – most were men but I would still put this book out on the coffee table or in my home office.

Each chapter has very little narrative, usually a letter or article from the time, to give the reader some background of what they’re looking at (and picture captions of course). Even though the text was basic, I thought it was well chosen and very poignant.

The Confederate Seal

A few years ago I’ve had a “phase” where I read only books about the Civil War. I’ve read fiction, non-fiction, biographies, etc. basically any book I could get my hands on. It was an immensely interesting time period which I found fascinating.

Not only are the stories about the Civil War fascinating and interesting, but as this book reminds us, it also changed the war. Photography had a wide impact on the public’s perception on anything involved with the war, from the battlefield to the leaders.

Here is a wonderful article about how Civil War photography changed war.


The book is divided into 10 chapters each covers a different subject (“Front Lines”, “Home Front”, “Prisons”, etc.). Each of the chapters has a short personal narrative and a wonderful collection of images printed on quality paper.

In addition to the book, Parragon will also release a companion app with video interviews, Artist Charles, W. Reed’s sketchbook, musical scores and more.

Buy The Civil War: A Visual History from Ama­zon*

Congratulations: juliecookies

Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Civil War: A Visual History


  • TeawenchSeptember 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I’m hugely into WWII but I’ve never really got into reading about the Civil War and I’m not sure why. But this book would make an awesome addition to my military history collection.

    • zoharSeptember 27, 2011 at 8:35 am

      The American Civil War has many wonderful books about it. Thanks for the comment.

  • Carol LSeptember 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I love the Civil War books. Loving History makes this a must read for me. Thanks for the giveaway and the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    • zoharSeptember 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks Carol, make sure you enter via the widget.

  • AnnaOctober 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve only just started reading about the Civil War this year. I’m more interested in WWII, but this book does look very interesting. I’ve linked to your review on War Through the Generations.

  • JaneGSSeptember 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve had my “phases” of Civil War reading myself, and am going through a serious one right now. This book looks really good and a must-have for my CW library.

    The photos of the Civil War era are fascinating–it really was the first major event that we have photographic documentation of, and I think that has helped to spur the huge interest in it. Via photos, journals, diaries, and letters, the stories of the men and women who experienced it make it so close to us. Events of event ten years earlier seem so much more remote.

    • Zohar - Man of la BookSeptember 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      I agree that being the first photographed war is part of the great interest in the American Civil war.

      Thanks for the comment.

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