Another history with a single year for a title, but the texture of this book is so rich that you would swear that you were caught up in an epic novel. Goodheart focuses on a brief period in American history, roughly from the election of 1860 to the outbreak of the Civil War a few months later. It’s a story we all think we know: Lincoln’s elected, the South secedes, and the war’s on. But put aside those preconceptions. From the rag-tag group of German immigrants that saved the most important Federal arsenal in the West, to the slaves who were still being dragged through streets in the North even as the South was seceding, to the majority group in Congress that was still voting to appease the South and protect slavery even as the guns were firing—be prepared for surprises on every paragraph. This is a true page-turner.