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Download Battle Cry of Freedom, Vol. 2: The Civil War Era Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Battle Cry of Freedom, Vol. 2: The Civil War Era Audiobook, by James M. McPherson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (12 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James M. McPherson Narrator: Jonathan Davis Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 1989 ISBN: 9781440780998
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James McPherson’s fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War—the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself—the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson’s new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union’s victory.

The book’s title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war—slavery—and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This “new birth of freedom,” as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America’s bloodiest conflict.

This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing “second American Revolution” we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is historical writing of the highest order.”

    New York Times Book Review
  • “Deftly coordinated, gracefully composed, charitably argued, and suspensefully paid out, McPherson’s book is just the compass of the tumultuous middle years of the nineteenth century it was intended to be, and as narrative history it is surpassing.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “The finest single volume on the war and its background.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Exhaustively researched, written with skill and assurance…This book may not be superseded in our time.”


  • “McPherson handles all…with a beautifully organized, compelling narrative and prose whose occasional leap into modern ebullience should capitavate a new generation of Civil War readers.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Immediately takes its place as the best one-volume history of the coming of the American Civil War and the war itself. It is a superb narrative history, elegantly written.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “This is an epic story told in epic style, written in clear, luminous prose.”

    Houston Post

  • “Perhaps more than any other book, this one belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Vivifies, with palpable immediacy, scholarly acumen, and interpretive skill, events foreshadowing the conflict, the war itself, and its basic issue: slavery.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “McPherson cements his reputation as one of the finest Civil War historians…Should become a standard general history of the Civil War period—it’s one that will stand up for years to come.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Matchless…The book’s political and economic discussions are as engrossing as the descriptions of military campaigns and personalities.”

    Library Journal

  • “Robust, glittering history.”


  • Winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for History
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A New York Times Best Book of the Year in Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 7/20/2011

    " First rate one-volume history of the Civil War. I listened to the recording, which is excellent, but then bought the book because I wanted to read some parts again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Watkins | 6/26/2010

    " Hugely insightful and well written telling of the events leading up to the Civil War. "

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About the Author
Author James M. McPherson

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis ‘86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. America’s leading historian of the Civil War, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom, which was a New York Times bestseller, and the Lincoln Prize for For Cause and Comrades.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Davis has received widespread critical acclaim for his narration in a variety of genres. He has won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2009, 2011, and 2012, as well as being a finalist for an Audie in 2007, 2013, and three times in 2014. He has also garnered accolades from Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and AudioFile magazine and has earned more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards.