A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided

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9780141040585: A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided

'No two nations have ever existed on the face of the earth which could do each other so much good or so much harm'

President Buchanan, State of the Nation Address, 1859

A World on Fire tells, with extraordinary sweep, one of the least known great stories of British and American history.

As America descended into Civil War, British loyalties were torn between support for the North, which was against slavery, and defending the South, which portrayed itself as bravely fighting for its independence. Rallying to their respective causes, thousands of Britons went to America as soldiers - fighting for both Union and Confederacy - racing ships through the Northern blockades, and as observers, nurses, adventurers, guerillas and spies.

At the heart of this international conflict lay a complicated and at times tortuous relationship between four individuals: Lord Lyons, the painfully shy British Ambassador in Washington; William Seward, the blustering US Secretary of State; Charles Francis Adams, the dry but fiercely patriotic U.S. ambassador in London; and the restless and abrasive Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell. Despite their efforts, and sometimes as a result of them, America and Britain came within a whisker of declaring war on each other twice in four years.

The diplomatic story is only one element in this gloriously multifaceted book. Using a wealth of previously unpublished letters and journals, Amanda Foreman gives fresh accounts of Civil War battles by seeing them through the eyes of British journalists and myriad soldiers on both sides, from flamboyant cavalry commanders to forcibly conscripted private soldiers. She also shows how the War took place in England, from the Confederacy's secret ship-building programme in Liverpool to the desperate efforts of its propagandists and emissaries - male and female - to influence British public opinion. She even shows how one of the most famous set-piece naval encounters of the War was fought, remarkably, in the English Channel.

Foreman tells this epic yet intimate story of enormous personalities, tense diplomacy and torn loyalties as history in the round, captivating her readers with the experience of total immersion in this titanic conflict.

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Review:

Amanda Foreman's magnificent book provides a completely fresh perspective on the first great modern conflict. Weaving together a vast panoply of people and events, it dramatically brings alive this extraordinary period on British and American history (Antony Beevor)

Ambitiously conceived, impressively researched and gracefully written, Amanda Foreman has crafted a narrative rich in detail, anecdote, insight and personalities. It puts a human face - many human faces - on a brutal conflict remorselessly descending into an inhuman total war (Brian Jenkins)

A tour de force, a work of extreme virtuosity both in the research and the telling ( Bloomberg News)

From the Publisher:

I am the publisher of this book. It is enormously heartening to see the enthusiasm for Amanda Foreman's book in the overwhelming majority of the comments posted here, especially as they are by people who have so clearly immersed themselves in it for a long time. It is a book which repays the commitment made to it, as many commentators have said.

A few of the comments refer to unspecified errors that others have supposedly detected, and one or two even claim there are profound - though uncatagorised - mistakes, attacking the book's 'academic accuracy' without giving a single example as reference. Only one reviewer here actually points to anything which might qualify as a mistake - a footnote error on page 797.

There are always differences of opinion and emphasis among historians, which are just that - differences of opinion and emphasis, not 'mistakes'. And despite our best efforts all history books, especially long ones, contain typos and even occasionally minor editing errors which we will generally correct for the paperback; I am always grateful to hear from anyone who has spotted any such errors. But it does pain me when the open forum of Amazon is used to repeat - perhaps innocently, but certainly unfairly - unsubstantiated criticism. For the true professionals' opinions of this extraordinarily engaging, highly original and astonishingly researched book, please look at the reviews posted nearby.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. No two nations have ever existed on the face of the earth which could do each other so much good or so much harm - President Buchanan, State of the Nation Address, 1859. A World on Fire tells, with extraordinary sweep, one of the least known great stories of British and American history. As America descended into Civil War, British loyalties were torn between support for the North, which was against slavery, and defending the South, which portrayed itself as bravely fighting for its independence. Rallying to their respective causes, thousands of Britons went to America as soldiers - fighting for both Union and Confederacy - racing ships through the Northern blockades, and as observers, nurses, adventurers, guerillas and spies. At the heart of this international conflict lay a complicated and at times tortuous relationship between four individuals: Lord Lyons, the painfully shy British Ambassador in Washington; William Seward, the blustering US Secretary of State; Charles Francis Adams, the dry but fiercely patriotic U.S. ambassador in London; and, the restless and abrasive Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell. Despite their efforts, and sometimes as a result of them, America and Britain came within a whisker of declaring war on each other twice in four years. The diplomatic story is only one element in this gloriously multifaceted book. Using a wealth of previously unpublished letters and journals, Amanda Foreman gives fresh accounts of Civil War battles by seeing them through the eyes of British journalists and myriad soldiers on both sides, from flamboyant cavalry commanders to forcibly conscripted private soldiers. She also shows how the War took place in England, from the Confederacy s secret ship-building programme in Liverpool to the desperate efforts of its propagandists and emissaries - male and female - to influence British public opinion. She even shows how one of the most famous set-piece naval encounters of the War was fought, remarkably, in the English Channel. Foreman tells this epic yet intimate story of enormous personalities, tense diplomacy and torn loyalties as history in the round, captivating her readers with the experience of total immersion in this titanic conflict. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141040585

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. No two nations have ever existed on the face of the earth which could do each other so much good or so much harm President Buchanan, State of the Nation Address, 1859 A World on Fire tells, with extraordinary sweep, one of the least known great stories of British and American history. As America descended into Civil War, British loyalties were torn between support for the North, which was against slavery, and defending the South, which portrayed itself as bravely fighting for its independence. Rallying to their respective causes, thousands of Britons went to America as soldiers - fighting for both Union and Confederacy - racing ships through the Northern blockades, and as observers, nurses, adventurers, guerillas and spies. At the heart of this international conflict lay a complicated and at times tortuous relationship between four individuals: Lord Lyons, the painfully shy British Ambassador in Washington; William Seward, the blustering US Secretary of State; Charles Francis Adams, the dry but fiercely patriotic U.S. ambassador in London; and the restless and abrasive Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell. Despite their efforts, and sometimes as a result of them, America and Britain came within a whisker of declaring war on each other twice in four years. The diplomatic story is only one element in this gloriously multifaceted book. Using a wealth of previously unpublished letters and journals, Amanda Foreman gives fresh accounts of Civil War battles by seeing them through the eyes of British journalists and myriad soldiers on both sides, from flamboyant cavalry commanders to forcibly conscripted private soldiers. She also shows how the War took place in England, from the Confederacy s secret ship-building programme in Liverpool to the desperate efforts of its propagandists and emissaries - male and female - to influence British public opinion. She even shows how one of the most famous set-piece naval encounters of the War was fought, remarkably, in the English Channel. Foreman tells this epic yet intimate story of enormous personalities, tense diplomacy and torn loyalties as history in the round, captivating her readers with the experience of total immersion in this titanic conflict. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141040585

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided, Amanda Foreman, 'No two nations have ever existed on the face of the earth which could do each other so much good or so much harm' - President Buchanan, State of the Nation Address, 1859. "A World on Fire" tells, with extraordinary sweep, one of the least known great stories of British and American history. As America descended into Civil War, British loyalties were torn between support for the North, which was against slavery, and defending the South, which portrayed itself as bravely fighting for its independence. Rallying to their respective causes, thousands of Britons went to America as soldiers - fighting for both Union and Confederacy - racing ships through the Northern blockades, and as observers, nurses, adventurers, guerillas and spies. At the heart of this international conflict lay a complicated and at times tortuous relationship between four individuals: Lord Lyons, the painfully shy British Ambassador in Washington; William Seward, the blustering US Secretary of State; Charles Francis Adams, the dry but fiercely patriotic U.S. ambassador in London; and, the restless and abrasive Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell. Despite their efforts, and sometimes as a result of them, America and Britain came within a whisker of declaring war on each other twice in four years. The diplomatic story is only one element in this gloriously multifaceted book. Using a wealth of previously unpublished letters and journals, Amanda Foreman gives fresh accounts of Civil War battles by seeing them through the eyes of British journalists and myriad soldiers on both sides, from flamboyant cavalry commanders to forcibly conscripted private soldiers. She also shows how the War took place in England, from the Confederacy's secret ship-building programme in Liverpool to the desperate efforts of its propagandists and emissaries - male and female - to influence British public opinion. She even shows how one of the most famous set-piece naval encounters of the War was fought, remarkably, in the English Channel. Foreman tells this epic yet intimate story of enormous personalities, tense diplomacy and torn loyalties as history in the round, captivating her readers with the experience of total immersion in this titanic conflict. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141040585

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Book Description Penguin, 2011. Book Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. As America descended into Civil War, British loyalties were torn between support for the North, which was against slavery, and defending the South, which portrayed itself as bravely fighting for its independence. This book gives fresh accounts of Civil War battles by seeing them through the eyes of British journalists and myriad soldiers. Num Pages: 1040 pages, Illustrations, maps. BIC Classification: 1KBB; 3JH; HBJK; HBLL; HBWJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 152 x 197 x 48. Weight in Grams: 758. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141040585

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Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. As America descended into Civil War, British loyalties were torn between support for the North, which was against slavery, and defending the South, which portrayed itself as bravely fighting for its independence. This book gives fresh accounts of Civil War battles by seeing them through the eyes of British journalists and myriad soldiers. Num Pages: 1040 pages, Illustrations, maps. BIC Classification: 1KBB; 3JH; HBJK; HBLL; HBWJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 152 x 197 x 48. Weight in Grams: 758. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141040585

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 'No two nations have ever existed on the face of the earth which could do each other so much good or so much harm' President Buchanan, State of the Nation Address, 1859 A World on Fire tells, with extraordinary sweep, one of the least known great stories of British and American history. As America d. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141040585_rkm

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