This book will be of interest perhaps most to Franklin fans who will appreciate the spotlight shifting from him to the multiple women who play secondary characters in his biographies. It must be noted that Stuart does more than simply tell the stories of these players that usually otherwise merely populate the background of the US colonial and revolutionary drama; she offers several insightful and challenging reappraisals.
The Civil War, A Narrative exemplifies the awfulness, overtiredness, dirt and stench of war. It was a time of fading hope, misinterpretation, fundamental disquiet vis-à-vis the future and an anxiety that the war which everyone had hoped would end rapidly, would not. Notwithstanding the nearly 900 page enormity of the work, is an edition to be studied by serious scholars of history.