The statement in the first chapter Americans were born to secede and rebel caught my interest. Winik then went on to back up the claim describing how this country was founded by people crossing an ocean to flee oppression. They seceded from England. The Whiskey Rebellion arose in 1791 just two years after the Constitution went into effect.
Each central figure has his back story told developing an insight as to why he behaved the way he did. This style of organization feels not so much, but I understood the purpose.
Southern apologists want to see Lee and Davis (and the South) as in the right. Northern defenders want to see Lee and Davis as traitors. Confederate leaders received humane treatment despite by Winik being traitors. Union generals also gave generous terms to the surrender, so this treatment is not unprecedented. The Union leaders received a somewhat deified status compared to other Civil War books I have read.
I should have read this book a few months ago for the 150th anniversary of the events it described. August also starts with an “A”, so good enough, right?