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Extended Audio Sample Chancellorsville, by Stephen W. Sears Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (42,134 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen W. Sears Narrator: Richard M. Davidso Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A former editor of American Heritage, Stephen W. Sears has collected a wealth of new sources for this definitive portrait of one of the most dramatic battles of the Civil War. Using scores of letters and diaries written by soldiers from both Union and Confederate armies, Sears’ narrative history seeks to strip away the gloss of later commentary and restore the battle of Chancellorsville to its original voices. Chancellorsville is often touted as Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory. Prompted by a campaign that maneuvered brigades on both sides into complex positions, it culminated in the most intense hours of fighting in the entire Civil War. But when the battle was over, the price of victory had been high. Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded. Lee was committed to press north into more threatening odds. In Chancellorsville, Stephen Sears carefully traces the movements of both armies and offers fascinating vignettes of daily life within the ranks. Looking at issues from horse fodder to critical military strategy, he examines the personal and military cost of this historic clash of armies.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The finest and most provocative Civil War historian writing today.” Chicago Tribune
  • “Sears, employing a mix of published and unpublished primary accounts to buttress secondary studies, manages to offer more than one new word in a thoroughly engaging text…A model campaign study, Sears’ account of Chancellorsville is likely to remain the standard for years to come.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The finest rendition of the battle yet and an interesting thesis for Civil War discussion.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Splendid…Civil War history at its best.”


  • “A stunning analysis of how terrain, personality, chance, and other factors affect fighting and distort strategic design…A tour de force in military history.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Clara | 2/17/2014

    " I originally read this book for school. Henry certainly isn't a likeable character but certainly relatable through his cowardice and insecurity. The main thing that makes me judge this book so harshly is that Stephen Crane never saw a battle, and the book gets really tedious to get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jim Walts | 2/15/2014

    " This was a short read, it really captures the feel of a youth going into battle, all the emotions and growth that can come from it. Very vivid imagery. I can understand why it is a classic! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Leah | 2/5/2014

    " I read this book in high school and remembered loving it. I was eager to re-read the book and was surprised when I had a very difficult time getting immersed in the story. Still a great story, just no longer as relevant to me. Unfortunately this fell from my top book list after reading it as an adult. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bookthief | 1/27/2014

    " As this was a book that was put as an 8th grade summer read for my school, I wasn't expecting much. At first, I was bored, as I had "other things to do" in the summer. But once I went off to my native country and there was nothing to do, I started to really love it. The descriptions were amazing, and though the dialog was sometimes confusing, the action made up for it. I was amazed, upon coming back to school, that many were confused and disliked this book. I enjoyed it a lot, though some points were confusing for me, but all this was resolved by a second time through. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen W. Sears

Stephen W. Sears is the author of many acclaimed books on the Civil War including Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He has been called “the finest and most provocative Civil War historian writing today” (Chicago Tribune). A former editor at American Heritage, he lives in Connecticut.