"America needed its great war of brothers," wrote Bruce Catton, "to weld in a terrible fire what had been and what might be. The story of the war needs retelling because it helped to change the future of the human race." The Civil War is America's great Iliad, and few would dispute that its outcome is evident in most social and political issues today. For a person seeking a single volume to serve as a captivating introduction and dependable guide through all the maze of battles and issues of the Civil War, this is a book without parallel. Catton understood the Civil War, its participants and battles, and he unfolds it with skill and simplicity.