David S. Reynolds is a Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center. His most recent books are Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America and Lincoln’s Selected Writings: 
A Norton Critical Edition.
 (November 2015)

IN THE REVIEW

The Commander of Civil War History

James M. McPherson giving a tour of Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee, 2008

Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief

by James M. McPherson

The War That Forged a Nation: Why the Civil War Still Matters

by James M. McPherson
By early April 1865, the Confederacy was in free fall. William Tecumseh Sherman had cut a swath of destruction through Georgia and the Carolinas. On April 2, Ulysses S. Grant broke Robert E. Lee’s line at Petersburg, Virginia. The next day Grant took Richmond, the Confederate capital. Abraham Lincoln arrived …