The Christian Science Monitor

'The Thin Light of Freedom' is a Civil War history that explores the forging of modern America

American Civil War historian Edward Ayers, in his new book constructs an extended, elegant study of , of , beginning with a spectacular rift in the Earth itself: the Great Appalachian Valley, which stretches from Quebec to Alabama in a 1,200-mile gouge along the Appalachian Mountains and crosses the Mason-Dixon Line at the border of Pennsylvania, forming the chasm between the two counties that serve as Ayers' focus in this book, Augusta County in

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