A Fierce Glory (Hardcover)

Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

By Justin Martin

Da Capo Press, 9780306825255, 336pp.

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


On September 17, 1862, the United States was on the brink, facing a permanent split into two separate nations. America's very future hung on the outcome of a single battle-and the result reverberates to this day. Given the deep divisions that still rive the nation; given what unites the country, too, Antietam is more relevant now than ever.

The epic battle, fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was a Civil War turning point. The South had just launched its first invasion of the North; victory for Robert E. Lee would almost certainly have ended the war on Confederate terms. If the Union prevailed, Lincoln stood ready to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He knew that freeing the slaves would lend renewed energy and lofty purpose to the North's war effort. Lincoln needed a victory to save the divided country, but victory would come at a price. Detailed here is the cannon-din and desperation, the horrors and heroes of this monumental battle, one that killed 3,650 soldiers, still the highest single-day toll in American history.

Martin, an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction, renders this landmark event in a revealing new way. More than in previous accounts, Lincoln is laced deeply into the story. Antietam represents Lincoln at his finest, as the grief-racked president-struggling with the recent death of his son, Willie-summoned the guile necessary to manage his reluctant general, George McClellan. The Emancipation Proclamation would be the greatest gambit of the nation's most inspired leader. And, in fact, the battle's impact extended far beyond the field; brilliant and lasting innovations in medicine, photography, and communications were given crucial real-world tests. No mere gunfight, Antietam rippled through politics and society, transforming history.

A Fierce Glory is a fresh and vibrant account of an event that had enduring consequences that still resonate today.

About the Author

Justin Martin is the author of four highly praised books: Greenspan: The Man behind Money; Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon; Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted; and Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America's First Bohemians. As one of the few journalists to gain access to Greenspan, Martin produced a bestselling biography of the secretive Fed chairman, selected as a notable book by the New York Times Book Review. His Nader biography served as a primary source for An Unreasonable Man, the Academy Award-nominated documentary, and Genius of Place received glowing national reviews. Martin's articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Fortune, Newsweek, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Praise For A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

"A colorful, deft, beautifully paced account
of the bloodiest battle in American history. Justin Martin carefully tends
Antietam's 'glowing embers,' approaching the day on the ground and from every
angle."--Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer
Prize-winning author of Cleopatra and The Witches

"More than the repulse of a Confederate invasion, the Union
victory at Antietam paved the way for black freedom--thus proving, in its way,
the most important battle of the Civil War. Appropriately, A Fierce Glory is more than a military history (although it depicts
the actual fighting vividly). Martin has culled a vast array of sources to
explore the political, religious, medical, and, ultimately, the societal impact
of Antietam. A highly original work."--Harold
, winner of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize

"What an achievement! Both panoramic and intimate in scale,
it situates Antietam within the context of Civil War history but also takes the
reader in close, face to face with the personal reality of 19th century
warfare."--Amanda Vaill, author of Hotel
Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

"With a great eye for colorful detail, Martin has pulled off
the feat of contextualizing the battle for a general audience. I learned something
new on every page--not just about Lincoln, McClellan, and Lee, but about medical
pioneers Clara Barton and Jonathan Letterman, photographer Alexander Gardner,
and the fates of average soldiers on both sides. An absorbing read."--Jonathan Alter, New York Times bestselling author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One

"Martin has given us an engrossing, important new look at
Antietam, making a convincing case that the outcome had more impact on the
course of the war, and on U.S. history, than any other Civil War engagement."--Marc Leepson, author of Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known
Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History

"Martin takes you to the fabled
Antietam battlefield in an engagingly written 'you are there' style that has
you virtually feeling the bullets whizzing above your head. This is no dry
military history or conventional Civil War book but a riveting group biography
that delves into the hearts and minds of a number of colorful, larger-than-life
characters, all of it placed in the context of the fateful deliberations of
Lincoln over issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. A tour de force."--John Oller, author of The Swamp Fox and American Queen

"In this succinct, highly readable book, spiced with telling
anecdotes and vivid character sketches, Martin seamlessly interweaves a clear,
suspenseful account of the battle with a careful depiction of Lincoln's road to
emancipation."--Michael Burlingame,
award-winning Lincoln scholar and author of Lincoln:
A Life
(2 vols.)