My first stab at writing about the Civil War was through book reviews for the Washington Times and North and South magazine. It forced me to read certain titles very carefully, think about historiography, and worked to build up my resume. Once I had a few reviews under my belt I jumped to short newspaper articles and so on and so forth. I’ve written over 60 book reviews since 1997, though in recent years the frequency has dropped to leave room for bigger projects. Now I find myself with four titles to review in the next few months and I am not quite sure how it happened. Anyway, they are all very interesting studies which I would have eventually read regardless. I am putting the finishing touches on a review of A. Wilson Greene’s Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War and have to start a review of Robert Cook’s Troubled Commemoration: The American Civil War Centennial, 1961-1965 – both for the journal Civil War History. In addition, I am reviewing Robert K. Krick’s Civil War Weather in Virginia for the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography and Ulysses S. Grant: A Bibliography by Mary E. Kelsey for H-Net.
I think that should do it for the rest of the year.