Civil War America: Voices from the Home Front/On Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War/The Civil War's First Blood: Missouri, 1854-61

Article excerpt

Civil War America: Voices from the Home Front James Marten. New York: Fordham University Press, 2007.

On Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War Anthony W. Lee and Elizabeth Young. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

The Civil War's First Blood: Missouri, 1854-61 James Denny and John Bradbury. Boonville: University of Missouri Press, 2007.

The Civil War continues to saturate and edify our interests in American history. On Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book gives us the work of a photographer who was trained under Matthew Brady but established his own photographic service in order to get closer to the action and in doing so to provide his public (and us) with more realistic and immediate photos of the war. This collection works under the assumption that photos by themselves do not do complete service to the subject. They must be accompanied by pictures, else they might be incomplete or misunderstood. This collection provides the photos and ample explanation in an admirable volume.

The Civil War's First Blood is a comprehensive collection of text and photos/paintings of Missouri before and in the War. It was, in the words of the authors, "an especially choice plum for the picking" and "added up to . …