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Extended Audio Sample Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, by S. C. Gwynne Click for printable size audiobook cover
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: S. C. Gwynne Narrator: Cotter Smit Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the author of the prize-winning New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon comes a thrilling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson became a great and tragic American hero.

Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon, even Robert E. Lee, he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. His brilliance at the art of war tied Abraham Lincoln and the Union high command in knots and threatened the ultimate success of the Union armies. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future.

In April 1862 Jackson was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. By June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. He had, moreover, given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked—hope—and struck fear into the hearts of the Union.

Rebel Yell is written with the swiftly vivid narrative that is Gwynne’s hallmark and is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict between historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life, including the loss of his young beloved first wife and his regimented personal habits. It traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Powerfully told, richly detailed, but also deeply human in timeless ways, Rebel Yell unmasks Gen. Stonewall Jackson, one of American history’s most enduring legends (and yet most private of men). This is history at its best.”

    Michael Duffy, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Presidents Club

  • Rebel Yell breathes contemporary insight and fresh energy into the life of an authentic American legend. In this crackling narrative, S. C. Gwynne gives us the bold tactics, the eccentric thinking, and the wicked genius of one of history’s most brilliant—and unconventional—military minds.”

    Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers

  • “In Rebel Yell, Mr. Gwynne’s easy, loping style wraps itself effortlessly around the particulars of Stonewall Jackson’s life, from his back-of-the-mountain upbringing to the outburst of military genius in the Civil War. The result is a narrative vivid with detail and insight.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “One of the year’s best biographies…Gwynne’s pages fly by, brimming with excitement and terror.”


  • “Gwynne’s portrait of Jackson is comprehensive, stirring, compelling….This well-researched portrait of a well-studied figure of the Civil War defies the odds and measurably adds to the scholarship surrounding Jackson and the conflict that defined him…The book is hard to put down.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Profoundly enlightening…The difference in Rebel Yell is…the historical sweep, the small touches, and the quality and clarity of the writing…Those sorts of little touches, page after page after page, set this book apart….Gwynne’s Rebel Yell delivers what readers want and deserve—a brave, headlong charge into American history.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “S. C. Gwynne provides a comprehensive portrait of a complex man who triumphed on the battlefield—but remained an enigma… a joy to read.”

    Civil War Times

  • "[Gwynne’s contribution] lies in capturing Jackson’s character, personality, and historical significance. He interprets Jackson as a discipline- and God-obsessed social bore, yet one of the fiercest fighters and most brilliant minds in American military history… a ‘living myth’…Jackson ascended rapidly from nerdy artillery and physics professor at Virginia Military Institute to Lee’s audacious and seemingly invincible lieutenant.”

    Raleigh News-Observer

  • “Journalist Gwynne follows his bestselling Empire of the Summer Moon with a stimulating study of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson…Gwynne tells Jackson’s story without editorializing, and readers are likely to agree that, without Jackson, Lee ‘would never again be quite so brilliant,’ while even in the North Jackson was considered, rather than a rebel, a ‘gentleman and…fundamentally an American.’”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Spry prose and cogent insight….Showing Jackson’s exploitation of speed and deception, Gwynne’s vivid account of his Civil War run, which ended with his death in the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville, is a riveting, cover-to-cover read for history buffs.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “September’s most scintillating read may be a 640-page biography of Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson… S. C. Gwynne’s riveting retelling of the canny Confederate whose strategies shaped the early years of the Civil War is just that good.”

    Kirkus Reviews (online feature)

  • “This popular history is recommended for all readers interested in the Civil War.”

    Library Journal

  • “It’s hard to imagine an author breaking new ground with another Jackson biography. But S. C. Gwynne does just that in Rebel Yell… Readers will come away from Rebel Yell with an understanding of the man that goes beyond his military exploits. Gwynne’s masterful storytelling makes Rebel Yell an absorbing choice for general readers and Civil War buffs alike.”


  • “With his low, resonant voice, Cotter Smith does a fine job narrating this detailed biography…The author’s writing style is easily accessible, and Smith’s voice and delivery match the text well. The details of Jackson’s life…flow smoothly as narrated by Smith. His intonation, pacing, and inflection are spot-on, making this production seem shorter than it actually is.”


  • “With the reporter’s eye for the revealing vignette and the storyteller’s ear for the rhythm of human striving, S. C. Gwynne gives us a beautifully penetrating account of the meteoric rise and tragic death of the most legendary of Civil War soldiers.”

    H. W. Brands, author of The Man Who Saved the Union

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, September 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014: History
  • Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award
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