Adam Goodheart – 1861: The Civil War Awakening


As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began.

1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents’ faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.

The book introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes – among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Adam Goodheart takes us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at this moment of ultimate crisis and decision.

Author: Adam Goodheart
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Duration: 18 hours 50 minutes
Released: 11 May 2004
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English

User Review:

croak outmoded

I first learned of this book by hearing author Adam Goodheart interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. My interest was immediately aroused, and I’m very glad I purchased “1861-The Civil War Awakening”. To read this detailed account of the first year of the Civil War provided me with a fresh perspective. Adam Goodheart mentioned in his interview that he wished to shine a spotlight on the very beginning of a historic war, seeing parallels with 9/11. (In that what may be later viewed as a “natural unfolding of history” is, at the time, often chaotic and uncertain, and profoundly influenced by key individuals. A most colorful as well as eye-opening account, at least for history novices like myself.