Recommended Books

The Civil War Era Studies Department at Gettysburg College recently published a list of their top 200 recommended books and articles on the Civil War.

You can see the list here.

It’s an awesome list. While I might have a slightly different list [and only different by one or two volumes in each category], I can’t really argue with the selections here. They did a great job with this, and I highly recommend it for those who are looking for ideas of books to read to learn about the Civil War.



  1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    That is a very good list of books. I think some arguments can be made for several other books to be included in the list, but that is going to be up to the individual. I do think there is a missing category there: Causation. One could say that is part of a separate list, but I think that is a very important part of the conflict without which there would not have been a civil war.

  2. Al,
    Thanks for the list.
    What are a few titles you would add to the list you shared?

    1. I would have some Bruce Catton in there, as well as some campaign studies.

  3. Since you brought up “Causation” are there a couple books you would recommend that could be added to the list Al has shared?

    1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

      I would add the following books and this is by no means the only works. These are the ones I am familiar with at this moment.

      Dew, Charles B. Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2001.

      Freehling, William H. The Road to Disunion, Vol. I: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

      Freehling, William W. The Road to Disunion, Vol. II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

      Holt, Michael F. The Political Crisis of the 1850s. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1978.

      Potter, David M. (Don E. Fehrenbacher, ed.). The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War 1848-1861. New York: Harper Perennial, 1976.

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