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 Posted: Mon Mar 31st, 2008 04:39 pm
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booklover
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It's hard to pick just a few. What I pick today would likely not make the list tomorrow.

One of the greatest historians both in terms of writing ability and scholarship has to be C. Vann Woodward. His "Strange Career of Jim Crow" was called the bible of the civil rights movement by no less a personage than Martin Luther King Jr.

In terms of Civil War history, it's hard to beat Allan Nevins, James McPherson or even James Ford Rhodes, who wrote the first serious study of the Civil War era during the turn of the century, called "History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850" and is in 7 volumes.

For the pure poetry of his writing style, I would recommend Carl Sandburg's "Abraham Lincoln The War Years" although I obviously wouldn't expect one to stop with that. Benjamin Thomas's biography of Lincoln remains one of the best single volume studies superseded only by David Herbert Donald's book.

Non-Civil War, I would recommend the essays of E.B. White. I think he comes just about as close to perfection as anyone in terms of writing ability. His words melt in your mind just like good chocolate melts in your mouth.

Although I rarely read fiction, the novels of William Styron read just as good as the best non-fiction. "Sophie's Choice" was one of those rare gems where the movie and the book are equally good.

Best
Rob

Last edited on Mon Mar 31st, 2008 04:41 pm by booklover

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