SUMMARY: The Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest single day in American history, with more than 6,000 soldiers killed—four times the number lost on D-Day, and twice the number killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. In Crossroads of Freedom, James M. McPherson paints a masterful account of this pivotal battle, the events that led up to it, and its aftermath showing why America’s bloodiest day is, indeed, a turning point in our history.
James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis ’86 Professor of History at Princeton University and 2003 president of the American Historical Association. Widely acclaimed as the leading historian of the Civil War, he is the author of Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (a New York Times bestseller), For Cause and Comrades (winner of the Lincoln Prize), and many other books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.
McPherson, a pre-eminent Civil War scholar, is widely known for his ability to take American history out of the confines of the academy and make it accessible to the general reading public. His best-selling book Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1989. He also has written and edited many other books about abolition, the war and Lincoln, and he has written essays and reviews for several national publications. McPherson earned a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.