In a beautifully written, deeply researched and profoundly thoughtful book that may earn her the title of the finest Civil War scholar in the United States, Harvard’s new president, Drew Faust, takes the reader on an emotive and analytical tour of death in Civil War America. She places us right on the battlefield, where we watch as soldiers die, nurses soothe the wounded and comrades write letters to their families. We see the chaos through the eyes of combat survivors as they bury the dead and wonder why they still live. Faust brings us into the homes of those who lost brothers, fathers, husbands and sons. We see Americans North and South combing newspaper reports of the dead and missing; we see them struggling to find mourning dresses, which were ever more scarce, especially in the South.