It was a month that could have unravelled a nation. Instead, it saved it. In this book, Jay Winik masterfully breathes new life into the end of a war and the events we only thought we knew. This gripping, panoramic narrative takes readers on a breathless ride through these tumultuous 30 days, showing that the nation's future rested on a few crucial decisions and twists of fate.
Here is Richmond's dramatic fall, Lee's harrowing retreat, and the intense debate in Confederate circles over unleashing guerilla warfare. Here, too, is the rebel surrender at Appomattox, Lincoln's assassination five days later, and the ensuing fears of chaos and a coup, the shaky transfer of presidential power and, finally, the start of national reconciliation.
Outsized characters stalk through sweeping events in Winik's brilliant narrative, transforming a seeming epilogue to a great war into a central - and saving - moment in American history, firmly placing April 1865 in the same pantheon as 1492 and 1776.