For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love sale lowest Letter online sale

For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love sale lowest Letter online sale

For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love sale lowest Letter online sale

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If you were among the millions who fell in love with Ken Burns''s documentary The Civil War back in 1990, today there''s probably only one moment you remember from it: "The Letter." Read as the music soared at the end of the first episode, the letter from unsung Rhode Island soldier Sullivan Ballou to his wife on the eve of battle—and likely death—brought a nation of viewers to tears for its eloquence and passion.

This is Ballou''s story. At the age of thirty-four, less than ten years after meeting the love of his life, Sarah Shumway, Ballou left his law practice and budding political career, his wife and two young sons, and took a commission as a major in the Union Army. He served in the army for almost two months but was struck down at the First Battle of Manassas-Bull Run. Civil War enthusiasts will devour the detailed depiction of the battle in which Ballou participated, and romantics will be absorbed in Sarah and Sullivan''s love story.

For Love and Liberty brings the war to life with startling detail, depicting not only the heroism of its soldiers, but also the courage of the families they left behind.

From Publishers Weekly

If you watched Ken Burns''s Civil War documentary, you probably remember the touching narration of a letter Sullivan Ballou, an officer in a Rhode Island regiment, wrote to his wife on the eve of the war''s first major conflict. Young tries to tell this couple''s story, but is only fitfully successful. Although early sections do shed some light on Sullivan''s life before the war, there simply isn''t enough information about the Ballous to sustain an 800-plus-page book. Young winds up quoting the famous letter twice in its entirety, and the narrative thread is frequently overwhelmed by her rehashing of the slavery debate and early days of the Civil War. She also buries the Ballous under pages of historical minutiae detailing everything from rifle-loading techniques to contemporary household advice. A huge chunk in the middle does actually provide an exhaustive account of the Battle of Bull Run, but again, Young so often pulls back for the big picture that it becomes difficult to keep track of Sullivan and his ultimately fatal injuries on the battlefield. There''s a moving story about families torn apart by war in here, but finding it is an exercise in frustration. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Civil War buffs and fans of filmmaker Ken Burns'' popular Civil War documentary will welcome this heartfelt biography of the heretofore--anonymous soldier who penned one of history''s most poignant love letters. Who was Major Sullivan Ballou, and who was the woman who inspired his eloquent missive? Young answers these and other questions in astonishing detail. Utilizing a variety of primary sources, including letters, diaries, speeches, and military reports, she reconstructs the brief life and times of the Rhode Island major who lost his life at the First Battle of Manassas-Bull Run. Prefacing Ballou''s story with his famous letter, she manages to do justice to the man, the family he adored, and the cause he willingly sacrificed his life to promote. This absorbing Civil War biography will appeal to both scholars and casual readers. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Robin Young was educated at California State University at Fullerton and the London School of Economics and Political Science. She taught public policy in the graduate program at California State University at Long Beach for ten years and has lectured widely on topics ranging from genealogical research to the Civil War. At the age of 27 she was elected mayor of La Habra, California, making her the youngest mayor in U.S. history. She lives in Southern California.

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4.1 out of 54.1 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Robin Young
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kirkus Review,
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2005
Historian Young''s debut tells the story of Sullivan Ballou, whose moving letter to his wife on the eve of the First Battle of Bull Run was an emotional highlight of Ken Burns''s PBS documentary about the war. At age 34, Ballou seemed destined for a distinguished political... See more
Historian Young''s debut tells the story of Sullivan Ballou, whose moving letter to his wife on the eve of the First Battle of Bull Run was an emotional highlight of Ken Burns''s PBS documentary about the war. At age 34, Ballou seemed destined for a distinguished political career. A talented lawyer in sympathy with the anti slavery Republican Party, he had already served one term as a state legislator and made an unsuccessful run for statewide office as attorney general. Shortly after the outbreak of war, Ballou volunteered for a three year term of duty defending the Union. With 20 years experience in the state militia, he received a commission as major, third in command of the Second Rhode Island Volunteers. Young follows the course of the regiment''s recruitment, training and movement to Washington in the late spring and early summer of 1861, drawing heavily on documents of the time. As the crisis grew, it was soon clear to everyone that the federal army would soon invade Virginia, and the Confederates would resist. On July 21, the armies met along Bull Run, a broad creek near Manassas. Early in the action, Ballou was rallying his troops from horseback when a cannonball struck him. Evacuated to a makeshift hospital in a nearby church, he underwent amputation of a leg as the battle raged. When the beaten Union army withdrew, Ballou, (along with other Union wounded) was taken prisoner. He died a few days later. The vast amount of material about Ballou''s times, his career, his death and the fate of his widow slowly accumulates to create a broad canvas of mid-19th century America as well as a searching portrait of a tragic victim of war.

An emotionally focused tale enriched by a remarkable level of detail. [citation of starred Kirkus Review 12/15/2005]
7 people found this helpful
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B. Childs
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read this!
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2006
This is a wonderful read for War Between the States buffs and the novice. I,like most, remember the letter from the documentary and was delighted to find the book about Sullivan Ballou. The background information on him and his wife certainly adds to the poignancy of the... See more
This is a wonderful read for War Between the States buffs and the novice. I,like most, remember the letter from the documentary and was delighted to find the book about Sullivan Ballou. The background information on him and his wife certainly adds to the poignancy of the famous letter and makes you understand where all those tender feelings stem from.

This is an excellent primer on the antebellum and war time eras; lots of information on custom, mores and traditions. Also, it is exhaustively researched and minute in detail on every facet of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys history.
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Linda Shookster
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2015
Relatively fast transaction; arrived new.
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history girl
1.0 out of 5 stars
too much background, not recommended
Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2010
The book is indeed "exhaustively researched." It should have used exhaustive editing. Much of the first part of the book is dedicated to the Ballou and Shumway families - and really have nothing to do with Sullivan Ballou or Sarah Shumway Ballou, except that it gives... See more
The book is indeed "exhaustively researched." It should have used exhaustive editing. Much of the first part of the book is dedicated to the Ballou and Shumway families - and really have nothing to do with Sullivan Ballou or Sarah Shumway Ballou, except that it gives background to the two of them. This background certainly has little to do with their personal relationship, and strikes me as "filler." Having said that, if you are interested in the geneology of these people, basic Rhode Island history, or antebellum mores, then this book is for you.

If you are interested in the letter itself, I would mention that the author does not even reach the point at which Ballou joined the Union army until chapter ten, and much of chapter ten is dedicated to Ballou''s thought process in making the decision to join (the chapter begins on page 229, and Ballou does not accept his appointment until page 251). Discussion of the letter read in Ken Burns'' Civil War is not reached until page 367, although the letter is printed in its entirety in the introduction. While this does make some sense, in that the letter was not written until a week before Ballou''s death, it is staggering to realize that the book is 782 pages long (text only), and the letter is introduced halfway through. This is because the author spends several chapters on troop movements of the Battle of First Manassas, and then uses many pages to tell what happened to the family after Ballou died, again getting bogged down in minutiae and unimportant family connections.

Much of the background on Sarah and Sullivan Ballou''s relationship is strictly speculative, and based on the author''s language, she realizes this. The author would have ended up with a better (and certainly more succinct) product had she left out some of the speculation.

I would not recommend that anyone purchase this book. It is slow and painful to read as it gets bogged down in minutiae. Unfortunately for me, I purchased it and immediately loaned it out (to someone who thought it was so bad, they did not bother to finish it), and so it is too late for me to return it.
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Ronayne
3.0 out of 5 stars
Too much information
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2007
Let me start by saying I''m not new to the civil war...so maybe this book would be better for newbies. It is definitely "exhaustively" researched. The author is obviously very good at genealogy. Unfortunately, that''s what this book is...genealogy. There is sooo much... See more
Let me start by saying I''m not new to the civil war...so maybe this book would be better for newbies. It is definitely "exhaustively" researched. The author is obviously very good at genealogy. Unfortunately, that''s what this book is...genealogy. There is sooo much information about Sullivan Ballou''s relatives and neighbors that it just drags on. I don''t need to know about these distant relatives and where they worked. That said, if you don''t already know much about the civil war or living in that era, it is worth the buy. Even if you are like me and own hundreds of civil war books, this one could be worth the purchase for the Manassas section...once you finally reach those chapters.
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Amazon Customer Gonzalo M Sanchez M.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars
For Love and Liberty
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2012
For Love and Liberty provides a rare tapestry of rich and highly detailed historical account at the same time engaging the reader in the life of Major Sullivan Ballou and family, making the reading come alive. It is a book to enjoy very much and on various levels.... See more
For Love and Liberty provides a rare tapestry of rich and highly detailed historical account at the same time engaging the reader in the life of
Major Sullivan Ballou and family, making the reading come alive. It is a book to enjoy very much and on various levels. For Love and Liberty is an experience of learning, but also of powerful emotion --- pain, purpose, and relationships --- family and friends and partners in mission. Within each chapter are bounteous treasures tucked in by way of nuggets of information not normally discovered in such work. Loey Sanchez
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just the facts
1.0 out of 5 stars
Awful just awful
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2012
The romantic in me wanted this to be a great story....and on some level there is a niceness to it. For the 782 pages of text and who knows how much more time taken in footnotes. couldn''t the author find anyone to proof read the tome? I am stopping after... See more
The romantic in me wanted this to be a great story....and on some level there is a niceness to it.
For the 782 pages of text and who knows how much more time taken in footnotes. couldn''t the author find anyone to
proof read the tome?
I am stopping after investing just over 200 pages of reading time- having just been told that the Civil War started on
April 13 (!!!!) 1861.
Previous entries have some of the Ballou kin (or Sarah''s) setting up shop in Rhode Island 50 years before the Pilgrims and 37 years before Jamestown.
I love Civil War stories but way too much of this one is speculation and disinformation. Often even verb tenses are incorrect.
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For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love sale lowest Letter online sale

For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love sale lowest Letter online sale