The Great Task Remaining: The Third Year of Lincoln’s War
by William Marvel
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 061899064X
- ISBN-13: 978-0618990641
Not one of his good books
William Marvel is a respected historian, an excellent author who has produced some very good books. This is not one of his good books and could be the worst book he will write. The first line inside the dust jacket states “Revisionist history at its’ best”. This large and disjointed book makes every effort to exceed that sentence. This leads to social history being pushed forward at the expense of political and military history.
The thoughts and actions of Grant, Lincoln, Davis and Lee are less important than privates and civilians. Marvel takes a harsh view of the war in which the glass is always half empty. There is little analysis of campaigns or the positive things that are occurring for the North.
Being an excellent author, his ideas are very convincing and his positions seem logical. The problem being what he says is often questionable if not wrong. In a wish to write a “Revisionist history”, Marvel has produced very little of value.
***Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!
What are your Top 10 Gettysburg Books? See what a panel of bloggers said recently.
Want to read some interesting Civil War content from amateurs and pros alike? Check out the Top 10 Civil War Blogs and Top 10 Civil War Blogs: 11-20.