Is the Title of This Magazine a Misnomer?
I’ve seen Civil War Historian on the newsstand and recently came across its website while conducting a search. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the subject of the publication, but the title seems strange. Given the goal of the magazine perhaps Civil War Living Historian would have been more appropriate:
Civil War Historian magazine was founded to promote knowledge of Civil War-era life in America. Civil War Historian accomplishes its goal by producing a high-quality publication that supports those who reenact the lives of Americans who lived in this era. The nature of the publication is both informative and entertaining. Civil War Historian contains after-action reports of reenactments, reprints of period publications, and historical research articles, all of which are supported by exceptional color images and artistic page design. Civil War Historian’s guiding principle and belief are the need to protect, preserve, and share accurate information about this momentous period in our history.
The pieces related to reenacting are quite interesting and I suspect are very useful for those in the field, but those that examine the history of the war are the weakest and don’t stack up to magazines such as North and South and Civil War Times Illustrated. I have no intention of getting into another drawn out discussion about semantics, but the title and the magazine’s content minimizes and distorts what is involved in writing and researching history. Sometimes distinctions do matter.