Sunday, June 21, 2009

Book Review--The 25 Best Civil War Sites

Johnson, Clint. The 25 Best Civil War Sites: The Ultimate Traveler's Guide to Battlefields, Monuments, & Museums. Greenline Publications, San Francisco, CA. 2005. 263 pages, maps. b/w photos, color photos, bibliography, index.

This is a nice compact book that is arranged by state. It mostly hits the high points of the war of course. Each site has a brief bit of background information on its importance to the Civil War. Following that is a shorter look at the area today. Then we get to the meat of each section. For each are there is a listing of 8-12 points of interest. These include a description and are rated with 1 to 5 stars--5 being a must see and 1 being only if you have extra time. I found the ratings to be a pretty good reference point. After the points of interest comes a listing of suggestions for further reading. This is great if you are planning a trip far enough out and have time to do some additional research. There is a brief section with directions to the area and suggestions for getting around. The last section for each is a listing of accomodations with some average prices listed. Most of these are on the higher end.

For me one thing that would have been nice is including website information for the points of interest. Yes, I know that's what Google is for but most travel guides include this information. Also, while there are some maps they are not included for each destination and those that are are not the best. They are better than nothing however.

There won't be anything here that a good internet search won't turn up. Also, for most interested in the Civil War this is really only a reminder type book and you are unlikely to find anything new. There is value though especially for the sites that are less well known or considered of less importance. I can recommend this as a book you check out from the library or maybe find used. The $20 new price however is certainly not prohibitive though if you are interested.

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