So, it looks like I am reviewing John F. Schmutz’s new book on the Crater for H-Net. I should apologize for the cheap shot I took the other week when I suggested that he probably took up the project after watching Cold Mountain. It turns out he has some relatives who fought in the battle. Schmutz has written a thick book, and apparently he did a pretty good job of surveying the primary and secondary sources. It’s also nice to see some of my own published work on the Crater in recent bibliographies, including his. Still, I am a bit concerned after reading the preface. The author describes the political scene in the 1860s with the phrase, “political correctness run amok.” Hell, I don’t even know what the phrase means most of the time when it is used to describe current politics, let alone the political culture 140 years ago. Anyway, I will let you know what I think once I’ve crawled out of this thing.
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