James M. McPherson’s masterpiece justifiably won the Pulitzer in 1988. It is volume six in the Oxford History of the United States. McPherson is obviously a good scholar; he is also an excellent writer. His narrative style is serious, but clear. The book works in both conception and execution.
The observations McPherson brings to light on the effectiveness of different Presidents dealing with the divisions in the country were really interesting, especially given the atmosphere of ‘no compromise’ we are seeing out of Washington today. Andrew Jackson and Zachery Taylor were effective while Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan were awful.
While some of the history may be well known to many readers, there is certainly something new here for most of those who have not read this book. Reading Battle Cry of Freedom was fun.