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Extended Audio Sample Terrible Swift Sword, by Bruce Catton Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (602 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bruce Catton Narrator: Nelson Runger Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Centennial History of the Civil War Trilogy Release Date: April 1963 ISBN: 9781436147040
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In The Coming Fury, the first volume of this magnificent American Civil War trilogy, Bruce Catton described the forces that combined to tear the United States apart, a portrait of a gathering storm that finally erupted at Bull Run.

Now, in Terrible Swift Sword, he shows how the Union and Confederacy slowly reconciled themselves to all-out war. At the start, there action was sparse, as each side reviewed its position, counting its heads and guns. The North had advantages on both fronts (but not one in General McClellan who is immortalized by excerpts taken directly from his arrogant letters).

The South recognized that it would have to strike hard to win, but it had terrible handicaps (including flintlock rifles that would not fire in the rain). It waited for the inevitable. Gradually, the action changed from small skirmishes to major battles and with it the statures of Lee, Grant, Jefferson Davis, and Sherman emerged. Slowly and inexorably, the conflict changed its nature from an uninspiring police action to a series of bloody clashes for the cause of ending human slavery. It became a war for freedom.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avis Black | 4/29/2013

    " Catton's classic Civil War trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick | 4/23/2013

    " Second of Bruce Catton's three-book trilogy. A must-read for Civil War buffs! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 8/27/2012

    " Bruce Catton has written an excellent trilogy on the civil war. He does an amazing job making history come alive and is absolutely captivating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fredrick Danysh | 2/27/2012

    " Phil Sheridan is not as well known as Grant and Shermand but he destroyed the Confederate breadbasket in the Shenandoah Valley and helped compell Lee's surrender at Apppmattox. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric Atkisson | 10/13/2011

    " I have not yet read a finer, more lucidly written and insightful narrative of the Civil War than Catton's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 10/8/2011

    " Have re read several times, loved his entire series on the Civil War "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 9/5/2011

    " Excellent retelling of the middle portion of the war. Not as strong as the third volume but still very impressive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Albert "Mac" | 8/2/2011

    " Incredibly detailed history of the Civil War. Excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik Graff | 7/11/2011

    " Reviewed under the rubric of "The Centennial History of the Civil War" of which this is volume two of three. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 6/16/2011

    " It took me a while to finish it but I finished it and it was worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick | 4/1/2011

    " First of Bruce Catton's three-book trilogy. A must-read for Civil War buffs! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik | 1/12/2011

    " Reviewed under the rubric "The Centennial History of the Civil War" (the three-volume series of which this is the first). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandi | 11/2/2009

    " An excellent start to a Civil War trilogy. Got this series a couple of years ago for Christmas and put it on the shelf because I thought it would be a snooze. Wish I had started reading it sooner now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 6/29/2009

    " If you want to know the why's of the Civil War, a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/28/2008

    " Whew, finally finished - admittedly, the amount of time it took me to read this was of my own doing and is not a reflection on the quality of the book.

    Now, if only middle and high schools used these books to teach history... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brent | 1/27/2008

    " This trilogy is among the best Civilo War histories written. Right up there with Shelby Foote. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 10/19/2007

    " Very well-written introduction to the Civil War. I would highly recommend that the reader completes the series since the books get even better. The third book in the series is exceptional. "

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