THE BEST WORST CASE. Book Review No. 24 is Jay Winik's April 1865: The Month that Saved America. The subtitle says it all: at the end of the month there is one United States of America, not several smaller confederations, despite a threadbare conspiracy that came close to decapitating the United States government, despite Jefferson Davis's efforts to encourage his troops to take to the woods and wage an insurgency, despite the Johnson administration rejecting the initial truce between the Army of the Tennessee and remaining rebel forces in North Carolina. That's not to say the underlying problems went away: radical reconstruction, de jure segregation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the 25th Amendment were yet to come. Read the book to work out the importance of many of these things. In common with many other Civil War histories, there is enough background to give a new student of the era context for the events, and there is a what-happened-after chapter with instructive stories about the principal actors.

(Cross-posted to 50 Book Challenge.)

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