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About the Author

David Detzer is professor emeritus of history with Connecticut State University. He is the author of several books, including Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War; and The Brink: Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and several dogs.


This fast-paced popular history of the frantic days between the attack on Fort Sumter and the Battle of Bull Run completes Detzer's "trilogy on the first hundred days of the Civil War." The earlier titles-Allegiance and Donnybrook-were critical and commercial successes, and the latest volume should also score with critics and readers. Detzer, professor emeritus of history at Connecticut State University, combines yeoman research-in official histories of the war, contemporary newspapers, journals, diaries and personal correspondence-and gritty prose. In the early days of the conflict, the nation's capital, geographically wedged between two states (Virginia and Maryland) considering secession, was ground zero for the aspirations and fears of a divided nation. If Washington had fallen to the Confederates in those turbulent days of "incredible noise"-hence the title-Detzer suggests that the war would have been lost. At the center of the cauldron, President Lincoln struggled to get his bearings: cautious, anxious and uncertain in the beginning, but gaining confidence with time. Despite a tendency to hype potential dangers, Detzer has written an engaging and comprehensive account of the early days of the Civil War that should have wide appeal. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Fast-paced popular history. Detzer has written an engaging and comprehensive account of the early days of the Civil War.
-- "Publishers Weekly" (1/3/2006 12:00:00 AM)

Clear, enthralling, multifaceted history.--THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE PRAISE FOR DONNYBROOK A highly readable, comprehensive, and thoughtfully written examination of a pivotal moment in our greatest national tragedy.--CIVIL WAR BOOK REVIEW

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