Tuesday, March 3, 1970

Author - Catton, Bruce

Birth: October 9, 1899.

Death: August 28, 1978.

Comments: Bruce Catton was an American historian and author best known for his writing about the U.S. Civil War. Catton attended Oberlin College, but did not graduate as a result of leaving to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War I. After the war, Catton worked as a reporter for the Cleveland News, the Boston American, and the Plain Dealer, and then later for the Newspaper Enterprise Association. During World War II, Catton worked for the War production Board, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Interior. In 1954, he took the position of founding editor of American Heritage magazine.

Starting in the late 1940s, Catton began publishing books on U.S. history, focused mostly on the U.S. Civil War, although his first book The War Lords of Washington, was about how the United States had geared up for and prosecuted the Second World War. Between 1950 and 1965, Catton wrote two trilogies about the U.S. Civil War, and completed a third that had been started by historian Lloyd Lewis. He wrote the Army of the Potomac trilogy, consisting of Mr. Lincoln's Army, Glory Road, and A Stillness at Appomattox. The final volume in this series won a Pulitzer Prize for History and a National Book Award. Between 1961 and 1965, Catton wrote the Centennial History of the Civil War consisting of The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat. In the same time frame, he completed Lewis' Ulysses S. Grant series with the volumes Grant Moves South and Grant Takes Command.

When he was not writing his famous trilogies, Catton wrote several stand-alone books about the Civil War, including U.S. Grant and the American Military Tradition, In Banners at Shenandoah: A Story of Sheridan's Fighting Cavalry, This Hallowed Ground, and several others. In addition to his writing about the Civil War, Catton wrote other works of history as well, including Four Days: The Historical Record of the Death of President Kennedy.

In 1956, Oberlin College awarded Catton an honorary degree. In 1977, Gerald Ford awarded Catton the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Since 1984, the Bruce Catton Prize has been awarded for lifetime achievement in the writing of history.


My reviews of Bruce Catton's books:
The Coming Fury
Never Call Retreat
Terrible Swift Sword

Other books by Bruce Catton that I have read but not reviewed:

Short fiction by Bruce Catton appearing in books that I have reviewed:

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