Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher

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INTRODUCTION

If you are a history buff like me, you like to learn new things. The Civil War has been written about so many times, it’s hard to even contemplate what has not been said. Yet legends and lies persist about the War between the States. Myths were created, and today some remain intact, even though the truth is out there.

This big book lays it all out. What really happened, and what is fiction. That’s the beauty of the Legends and Lies concept.

David Fisher, who composed the words you will soon read, is a master at painting a vivid historical picture. And then, of course, there are the real pictures—spread throughout the book. We want you not only to understand the history, but to experience it visually. Take a good look at John Brown’s face in chapter 1. Study his stern countenance. This was a man who was possessed to end slavery, who would stop at nothing. Brown’s story is unique and compelling, a fascinating way to begin this book.

As you may know, the Civil War was perhaps the most important conflict in our nation’s history, because we would not have a country as we know it today if the South had prevailed. And the Confederate forces almost did win—led by the brilliant commander Robert E. Lee. You will soon get to know Lee and his Union counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant. Very different men fighting for causes that, at times, weighed on them with extraordinary ferocity.

The brutal intensity of the fighting is staggering. Most of the combatants were boys or men just out of their teens. If wounded, they could expect little help. If captured—well, the ordeal was hellish. The South, in particular, could barely feed its own army, much less Northern prisoners. But amid all the chaos, heroes emerged. On both sides. We will tell you about them. The villains, too.

And then there were the slaves, human beings bought and sold. Even though some believe the Civil War was primarily about the rights of individual states to determine their societies, the true emotional nature of this war was freedom for black people. Again, study the face of Frederick Douglass on page 112. This was an African-American who attained freedom but could not rest until his brethren did the same. What a compelling human being, Frederick Douglass. You will get to know him well in these pages.

You will also learn about the bravery of Abraham Lincoln, who aged dramatically during the war. His empathy for the suffering soldiers and slaves is what sets him apart from most politicians. Lincoln is a towering figure, perhaps our best president. You will see how he himself suffered over the years knowing that victory was not assured.

In fact, we spend a good amount of time on the battle that saved Lincoln and the Union: Gettysburg. That incredible fight remains the most important battle ever fought on American soil. And to the very end, the outcome was in doubt. The reader of this book will experience that battle as it was actually fought—not romanticized or sanitized. We will take you to southern Pennsylvania for a reading experience you will not soon forget.

The relevance today of Legends and Lies will unfold before your eyes. We are living in a time of conflict; terrorists overseas want to kill us, politics at home can be vicious. We are a divided nation, as the presidential election of 2016 demonstrated. Sometimes, emotions between citizens run high, and there have even been violent political protests. And when we see these on television, it might be wise to think back to the 1860s—when the country fractured and Americans killed one another, sometimes in savage displays.

That kind of thing will never happen again, but for the aware American, it is important to understand why it did happen once upon a time. The War between the States shaped attitudes for decades, and, to this day there are reverberations from the carnage. The Black Lives Matter movement, for example, bases its call for social justice on slavery and the massive abuse it caused. As for freemen, millions of Americans on both sides had their families shattered by death during the bloodiest war in American history.

So, there is much to know about the Civil War, and you are about to absorb many things. No longer will the conflict be a fable or a movie. Reading Legends and Lies will provide you with the factual picture of an American tragedy that led to triumphs decades later. The true nature of freedom was defined during the Civil War, and all of us carry that freedom today as we live life in America.

David Fisher and I are proud of this book and very glad you have chosen to read it.

Bill O’Reilly
February 2017
New York City

Buy the Book Buy Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at Amazon Buy Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at Amazon Buy Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at Barnes & Noble Buy Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at Indiebound Buy the ebook edition of Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at the Apple iBookstore Buy the audio edition of Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at the Apple iBookstore Buy the audio edition of Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies by Bill O’Reilly and David Fisher at the Apple iBookstore