Book Reviews of North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1)

North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1)
North and South - North and South Trilogy, Bk 1
Author: John Jakes
ISBN-13: 9780151669981
ISBN-10: 0151669988
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 740
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 14

4.1 stars, based on 14 ratings
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 534 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
North and South is the first novel in a trilogy dealing with the American Civil War, and it is truly a remarkable work; well worth reading. I myself have read the novel many times over the past twenty years. The novel focuses on two families--the Hazards of Pennsylvania, and the Mains of South Carolina--during the period from approximately 1840 through the beginning of the Civil War. These two families, bound by close ties of friendship (the sons of each are best friends at West Point and serve in the Army together during the Mexican War) and marriage, find these ties tested by the powerful forces of political and social strife that rocked the country during this period, ultimately leading to civil war.
This is a great story. Author John Jakes does a tremendous job of transporting the reader into the period immediately before the Civil War. The country was torn by political strife that could not be resolved by the ordinary institutions of civil government, and Jakes does a masterful job of explaining this within the format of a novel, and showing how this atmosphere affected ordinary people, and their friendships and relationships. The Hazards and the Mains are unforgettable. Jakes shows how decent people (as well as people not so decent) interacted with the institution of slavery on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

One of the best parts of the novel deals with the period during the 1840s when the two main protagonists are classmates together at West Point. This is a well-researched tale that is very insightful as regards life and strife at the military academy during a pivotal period of American history. It helps the reader understand the important role that West Point played in the nation's history during the Mexican War and, of course, the Civil War. And perhaps today.

This novel rates the overused label of "classic" and in my opinion represents one of the very best novels of the Civil War. It is, incidentally, the best novel of Jakes" "North and South" trilogy.
AMAZON.COM READER'S REVIEW
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 105 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
North and South is the first novel in a trilogy dealing with the American Civil War, and it is truly a remarkable work; well worth reading. I myself have read the novel many times over the past twenty years. The novel focuses on two families--the Hazards of Pennsylvania, and the Mains of South Carolina--during the period from approximately 1840 through the beginning of the Civil War. These two families, bound by close ties of friendship (the sons of each are best friends at West Point and serve in the Army together during the Mexican War) and marriage, find these ties tested by the powerful forces of political and social strife that rocked the country during this period, ultimately leading to civil war.
This is a great story. Author John Jakes does a tremendous job of transporting the reader into the period immediately before the Civil War. The country was torn by political strife that could not be resolved by the ordinary institutions of civil government, and Jakes does a masterful job of explaining this within the format of a novel, and showing how this atmosphere affected ordinary people, and their friendships and relationships. The Hazards and the Mains are unforgettable. Jakes shows how decent people (as well as people not so decent) interacted with the institution of slavery on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

One of the best parts of the novel deals with the period during the 1840s when the two main protagonists are classmates together at West Point. This is a well-researched tale that is very insightful as regards life and strife at the military academy during a pivotal period of American history. It helps the reader understand the important role that West Point played in the nation's history during the Mexican War and, of course, the Civil War. And perhaps today.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
If you enjoy american history you will enjoy this book. This is the first book of the North and South Trilogy. Love and War, also Heaven and Hell are excellent books.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 218 more book reviews
After watching the TV series for several times I always wanted to know if the film adaption meets the book and if there isn't much more to the book than the love between Orry Main and Madeline. I am so pleased that the book rarely is about their love but much more about the Civil War, the facts and peoples adaption to it. The love thing between Orry and Madeline's running completely alongside without much bla.
Instead John Jakes wrote a novel that almost feels like written by a contemporary witness.
Orry and George's and later Charles' and Billy's education at West Point was quite impressive. Especially that they actually had to learn things that aren't required in todays education to become a soldier. Also the changes between North and Southeners in the years between the first generations education and than the second one. In a few years West Point changed from a sligth hostile place against Southeners to a place where nation's were already divided due to their way of living.

The book tells a lot about the differences, and the reasons about the secession. It also tells about fears and patriotism nevertheless.

A few funny things need to be mentioned. They were completely left out of the series or changed:
For example Elkanah Bent is described as a small, fat man with an affection not only to women but young girls and boys as well.
What was missing in the series is the reason why Bent hates Charles as much as he hates Orry. They got a history and honestly a much mnre shocking one than what happened between Orry, George and Bent at West Point.

Orry lost one arm while fighting against the Mexicans.

George's been a ladies' man. He ssed to pay quite a bit for his entertainment during his West Point years.

Cooper, introduced in the third part of the TV series is Orry's brother, who lived in Charleston. They were pretty near later in the book but also, Cooper is a huge part of the book as well. He was completely left out of the series until he suddenly appeared as the bad brother.
In the book he isn't bad at all. In fact he's quite critical with the Southener way of life and slavery. He's likeable.

I could write more but you've gotta red the book. It was an eyeopener to me.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 241 more book reviews
This is a classic!
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
If my scanner were working I would scan in picture of the cover...this is Part I of the trilogy on the civalo war. Part II is called Love & War and I have listed it also..great reads, wonderful for people who love Civil War tales.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
This is a classic - story of families on opposite sides of the Civil War. Was made into a television miniseries years ago.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 384 more book reviews
this is a very good series if you enjoy historical fiction like i do.
good history,good charachters.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 32 more book reviews
I have not had a chance to reread the book again. I'm reading another book and have been doing some cross-stitching.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on
The Civil War is a gold mine for story telling, but this book falls far short of the mark. Very poorly written. How these books became popular is a mystery to me; the writing was awful, and the characters are one dimensional. In another writer's hands, this could have been a good book.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 89 more book reviews
Book One of the North and South Trilogy: Story of friendship between Orry Main and George Hazzard.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 530 more book reviews
Great book, Great TV series...............
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
the first of the series. civil war history the story of a family coping through it. great book
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
A marvelous book..should become one of the great novel of American history.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 156 more book reviews
A wonderfull story of to families caught in the trials and tribulations of the Civil War.

North & South is the compeling panoramic novel of two wealthy families during the twenty turbulent years that culminate in the shattering Civil War. Carolina plantation owners defending an aristocratic way of life and the Hazards of Pennsylvania industrialists, caught up in the exciting world of invention and commerce. When their sons at West Point become fast friends their lives are joined. So opens a swift narrative, laced with adventure and dramatically illuminated with the many hues of the human spectrum--joy and tragedy, love and lust, wisdom and folly, ambition and gren, courage and cowardness. And over it all falls the grim shadow of slavery. North & South is a handsomely conceived mirror of the times. Amoung the richly locales are the US Military Academy on the Hudson, the lush Carolina coast, the harch Texas frontier, the smoky Lehigh River foundries, the hilly plains of Mexico City, the lavish homes of Newport and NY city, Washington, Charleston, New Orleans, Philadelphia and a town called arpers Ferry. Historical characters mentioned are Robert E Lee, James Buchanan, John Brown, Stephan Douglas, Abner Doubleday, John Calhoun, Winifred Scott, Zachary Taylor. Critical political events are artfully woven into the story. An American saga with great attention to detail.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 103 more book reviews
The first novel in the North and the South triology by John Jakes.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 268 more book reviews
A marvelous book of historical fiction. An epic story of two families separated by vastly different ways of life, joined in the unbreakable bonds of true friendship, then torn asunder by a country at the threshold of the bloody Civil War that would change all their lives forever.
reviewed North and South (North and South Trilogy, Bk 1) on + 61 more book reviews
It is a saga about the civil war era and the families dramas. Very detailed. Also, please note in my book there is writing on the first cover page. Otherwise good shape, intact clean.