Image of war: 1861-1865, volume 4, Fighting for time Essay

* While not gun books, per se, Doubleday Company’s Image of WarSeries, edited by William C. David, is a must for all interested in theAmerican Civil War and the arms thereof. To those of us weaned on themurky prints int he old Photographic History of the Civil War, whichfirst came out in 1911, the Image of War, with its crystal-clearillustrations, is a revelation.

Currently there are four volumes in the series, with Doubledayprojecting another two over the next couple of years. The latest,Fighting for Time, covers such fascinating subjects as “Raiders ofthe Seas”, a look at the Rebel buccaneers; “Caring for theMen,” a photographic study of medical care and hospitals (not forthe faint-hearted); and “War on Horseback”, a treatise on theConfederate and Union cavalry. The quality and quantity of the artwork in all four volumes easilysurpasses any photographic history of the conflict yet produced. Thereare myriads of previously unpublished photos from private collections,as well as quality prints from national and state archives. The clarityof the pictures makes it possible to pick out weapons and uniformdetails with ease. As well, for once, the caption material is equal to the artwork,and even the most arcane arms are identified correctly. Theaccompanying text is concise and pertinent. In all, Image of War is avaluable addition to the libraries of those of us interested in Americanmilitary history and Civil War weaponry.

It is available from mostbookstoes for $39.95 a volume. I might add that each book runs inexcess of 400 fully-illustrated pages–a real bargain at today’spublishing costs.

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