I originally posted this on my toy soldier blog (toysoldiersforever.blogspot.com), but I think that it's also appropriate for this site as well. Did you have this book?
The Golden Book of the Civil War: the book that launched a thousand careers.
Little Mannie had a watershed that came in three parts in close succession; the LIFE magazine serialized series on the Civil War, a trip to Gettysburg, and The Golden Book of the Civil War. All of this was wrapped up in the excitement of the Civil War centennial.
I am not alone in this transcendent chain of events, When I was a Ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, countless visitors told me that the Golden Book started them on their Civil War journey.
My dad passed this book down to me when I was in elementary school. As others have mentioned, the maps absolutely captivated me! There were many factors which influenced my interest in the Civil War from an early age, but there is no doubt that this book captured my imagination. I have never yielded that love of history, and this week I began my first season as a Park Guide at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.
Luke Dixon, Park Guide, National Park Service
I stared at the overhead views of battles with their human figures, for hours...and for me those images led to my engagement with the tiny plastic toy soldiers ($.59 cents per package at W.T. Grant) that still sit in a bag in my closet, though their muskets and bayonets be broken beyond recognition. That book, my little plastic Yankees, and a trip to Antietam launched me, probably in equal proportions.
John J. Hennesy, author and National Park Service historian
I used to set up battles in my sand box using the maps in the book with my toy Civil War soldiers. That led mot me in college becoming a miniature wargamer, and later, writing books on the Civil War.
Scott Mingus Sr, Civil War author
I still have my copy, and a mint copy I was able to buy a few years ago. The battle diagrams are amazing, I would stare at them for hours.
Michael Aubrecht, Civil War author