It’s A Book Giveaway!

gallagher_causesAs part of the month-long celebration of Civil War Memory’s 4th Birthday I’ve decided to give a little back in the form of a book giveaway.  It’s easy to enter.  Just leave a comment after the post and in a few words share why you read Civil War Memory.  Even my critics are invited to enter and share their thoughts (as long as the comments are not offensive) and I promise to be fair in choosing a winner.  I will write the names out on slips of paper and have my wife draw a winner.  It’s as simple as that.  As you can see, the book is Gary Gallagher’s, Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten (University of North Carolina Press, 2008).  I will leave the comments open until next Friday (11/20) and will select a winner over the weekend.  Good luck.

Update: A few of you have mentioned that you already own this book. Well, if that is the case then it looks like I will have to offer an alternative title. It’s a secret

33 comments… add one
  • Kevin D. McCann Nov 19, 2009 @ 16:14


    Thanks for offering this book giveaway. I keep your blog bookmarked and read it regularly for the lively discussions and comments on topics such as black Confederates and the State of Jones. Keep up the good work!

  • Laura Lawfer Nov 19, 2009 @ 15:11

    As a public historian at a quasi-Civil War site (RE Lee was born here, but not much else happened at Stratford during the Civil War!), I encounter issues with Civil War memory quite often. I enjoy reading your blog because you have very good insight and help me think about what I do and how to deal with touchy issues when a visitor asks me questions. Your blog also helps me keep up on the current scholarly works out there–like most people, I don't have much extra time to read all of these books myself!

  • Beth Parnicza Nov 19, 2009 @ 14:41

    As an aspiring public historian and a student at West Virginia University, I found myself constantly looking for Civil War material. A little more than a year ago, Dr. Peter Carmichael (of black Confederate and other fame) recommended that I participate in a book discussion on this blog. While exploring the site, I realized that I had found a truly engaging and fascinating resource which I now visit daily. Kevin Levin's posts constantly force me to consider different perspectives, and they keep me up to date on topics of debate in the Civil War community. I am always looking for ways to provide the public with different perspectives on the Civil War and to inspire the kind of curiosity I possess for history, and the discourse on this site shows me different ways to approach many topics, particularly where strong opinions may already exist. Public perceptions (and misconceptions) meet academic ideas on this blog, and the resulting interaction is quite interesting. I also enjoy noting how each individual states his or her opinion and then defends it.

  • pch Nov 18, 2009 @ 19:47

    I'm a processing archivist in a Midwest University special collections library who has to research and write about minor players in the civil war everyday. I read this blog to keep up with how history is taught and used and to learn about current scholarship and discourse. It is hard to write finding aids if you don't know how they might be used.
    great blog!

  • Lizzie Nov 18, 2009 @ 17:54

    Why do I read your blog? BECAUSE IT'S THE BEST ONE OUT THERE!
    ps- I already own Dr. Gallagher's book(s)


  • jamijamesg Nov 18, 2009 @ 15:00

    I learned of your blog from my professor in an upper level college course about the Civil War. I am on a small college campus and don't have the pleasure of peers who are interested in the Civil War and slavery. Your blog keeps me informed and at times entertained…thanks!

  • woodrowfan Nov 18, 2009 @ 13:30

    Why do I read CWM? Because as a history professor whose specialty is in another era, I learn a lot that I can pass onto my students as well as for my own enrichment as a historian….

  • davidsilkenat Nov 18, 2009 @ 12:36

    I read Civil War Memory for three reasons. First, I think it is one of the best sources on the web for popular and academic news about the Civil War. Second, as a former high school teacher and someone who now trains people to be high school teachers, I appreciate how Kevin talks about his passion for teaching. Third, I find the comments on Kevin's posts to be fascinating, as the site attracts both academics and Civil War enthusiasts.

    Happy 4th Birthday. I'm looking forward to many more years of posts.

  • acwresearcher Nov 17, 2009 @ 19:12


    Congrats on keeping this thing going strong for four years. I can't even begin to understand how you keep it up, but I'm glad you do.

    I found Kevin's blog in the spring of 2007 as I prepared to take a Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminar for Teachers hosted at UVa and taught by Professor Gallagher. Kevin has been patient with a “reformed Confederate apologist” and has helped me refine my studies of the war, its aftermath and its memory. He has been gracious enough to respond to comments from a group of my middle school students and encouraged my own delve into teaching the Civil War at a level that is often overlooked: to seventh and eighth graders.

    All of these things keep me coming back. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we agree to disagree, sometimes I go write my own blog post! At any rate, I have found Kevin to be a respectful host, even when we do not agree.

  • Ed Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:49

    Kevin, where else am I going to get the PC version of that little disagreement some of our states had back in the 1860s?


  • ginny snowden Nov 17, 2009 @ 11:39

    i too found your site while searching for information on the upcoming sesquicenteenial. i schedule adult programming for a public library in VA & the book you are featuring for a give-a-way caught my interest. you have a informative site and i plan to visit it again. thanks for sharing your information.

  • Tom Thompson Nov 16, 2009 @ 21:46

    I am a daily visitor to your blog. I tend to lurk more than participate. I like the variety of topics and the fairness with which you manage discussions. Your people (contributors) have become important acquaintances to me, in that I respect their opinions, experiences, biases, and emotional connection to the subject matter. Thank you all for playing such a role in my life.

    • Sherree Nov 18, 2009 @ 10:41


      This is a wonderful comment. Thank you for making it. I have often wondered who those eight hundred to one thousand people a day who view Kevin's site are. Nice to know you are out there. Sherree

  • Daniel_Sauerwein Nov 16, 2009 @ 19:26


    Though we might disagree politically, I enjoy reading your blog when I check in every few days, as you demonstrate a passion for the discipline and an ability to give Civil War blogging more legitimacy by tackling the complex concept of history and memory. Happy 4th birthday and I wish you continued success with the site.

  • lauramccarty Nov 16, 2009 @ 13:45

    I found Civil War Memory while preparing to work with individuals and organizations in Georgia preparing for the upcoming Sesquicentennial. The blog has been quite helpful, making me aware of what's going on in this area of public history. Thanks for your good work, and happy blog birthday!

  • toby Nov 16, 2009 @ 10:29

    I became interested in the American Civil War in my teens, and my interest was confirmed during my college years when I read Bruce Catton's wonderful trilogy. Catton has been somewhat eclipsed of late, but I have noticed more than one blogger who were, like me, drawn to Civil War studies by his wonderful writing.

    My interest in the Civil War is such that I once signed up to a part-time Master's degree on “Ireland and the American Civil War” in an Irish university, under a friendly Professor of History who shared my interest. Alas, I never completed my studies for a variety of reasons, but I am convinced that the Civil War had a significant effect on the history of Ireland, as it had on countries like Mexico and Canada.

    Indeed, the war was significant in world-historical terms. Within a matter of years, Britain had extended the franchise and was on the way to adult male suffrage. In 1873, France became the second major democratic Republic in the West, against strong opposition from Royalist and Bonapartist factions who might have prevented the adoption of a Republic if they had united behind an authoritarian alternative. Neither of those events would have turned out the way they did, had the North lost the Civil War. Lincoln was right – the US was the last, best hope on earth!

    So why do I read “Civil war Memory”? It is the daily way to relieve my Civil War itch. There are multiple posts on many topics, all of them interesting, some of them controversial, none of them boring. I have followed through on many of the book recommendations and got value for money every time. My day is a that little greyer when I do not go online to get my daily dose.

  • msimons Nov 16, 2009 @ 9:07

    I discovered this site looking for Pat Cleburne Infomation over on the Army of Tenn blog. I have enjoyed learing the broader viewpoints of CW history.

  • Sherree Nov 16, 2009 @ 5:29

    I read Civil War Memory because the blog posts, and the comments, make me think. I found the blog by accident, and at the time, didn't even know what a blog was. Roughly one and a half years ago, I just came crashing through an Internet wormhole of scholarship that spanned thirty plus years and landed on Kevin Levin's blog. I stayed because the conversation that takes place here allows me to walk the grounds of Mr Jefferson's university again as I attempt to understand what it was that I once thought was so important. Kevin provides a forum for that, and for much more. In addition, through dialogue here, I have finally understood my own history in the South that was sans Lost Cause and included a reverence for Lincoln and a fight for civil rights that extended across generations. In understanding that, I have helped others to understand it as well. I do have one complaint. I cannot understand why posters like Brooks Simpson are allowed to post. He has an obvious bias. He has even stated it. The Yankees are right 100% of the time. Look it up! I will provide a quote if necessary–something about Kevin Levin paying homage to the Yankees. (smiley face here)

  • Russ O Nov 15, 2009 @ 19:10

    Back in spring 2008 I searched for reviews on Civil War books because I had just registered for an MA class on the Civil War in the fall. One of the links led me here and the topics being discussed were in line with what the professor told me to expect in the class. The posts on the myth of black Confederates led me to do a historiography paper on that subject. I’ve been back every day since then.

  • margaretdblough Nov 15, 2009 @ 21:52

    I first looked into this blog when someone mentioned your recent essay on John Latschar on the Gettysburg Discussion Group. I stayed because of the wide range of topics and the realization that I'd found a place where people discuss, not just exchange rants, the complex issues related to the Civil War and its context in American history.

  • Jared Frederick Nov 15, 2009 @ 15:37

    As a student of history at Penn State, I like to get hold of any Civil War book I come across. (Imagine that; a college student who likes to get books!) For most of the historically illiterate out there, the only taste of history they ever get is through movies-even Civil War films. When I did my internship at Gettysburg this past summer, I wish I had a dollar for every time a visitor asked me about the fictional “Buster Kilrain.” Additionally, other than the movie Gettysburg, why has the Union war effort largely been overlooked in popular culture? Versus the endless stream of Lee, Jackson, Forrest, and Stuart art prints out there, the Yanks can’t compete (minus Chamberlain). Can anybody remember the last time a Sherman or Sheridan print was completed? Why are they overlooked and why do Confederates sell better? These are questions that are answered in Gallagher’s book. I would like to receive a copy of Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten to learn about some great (and not so great) Civil War films and their impacts on our society. Furthermore, we cannot debunk the myths perpetrated by these films and artworks until we ourselves begin to understand them.

    Thanks for your consideration. Great blog!

  • Andrea Nov 15, 2009 @ 18:29

    I found Civil War Memory through my Google feed reader, interestingly enough, and subscribed because it meshes so well with my own interests in That War. Not only what actually happened to the nation between 1861 and 1865, but how people today are shaping the memory and interpretation of those events to suit themselves. The posts are often thought-provoking, and usually the comments are, as well.

  • Matt McKeon Nov 15, 2009 @ 17:47

    “it looks like I will have to offer an alternative title. It's a secret”

    dude, I have that one too.

  • kyleallwine Nov 15, 2009 @ 17:33


    I thoroughly enjoy reading Civil War Memory. I discovered it through Twitter. Being a history student, my life is always consistently history. I love history, but I get tired of reading very dry, boring articles. Civil War Memory is a great, sophisticated, scholarly, and entertaining. I love getting the Twitter updates that you write leading to articles. Thank you and keep it up!

  • rhapsodyinbooks Nov 15, 2009 @ 12:39

    First of all, happy blog birthday! When you enjoy reading about the Civil War, you find a lot of blogs that are passionate, but not that many that are as intelligent, interesting, and well-written as this one. So I'm a fan!

  • Bruce Nov 15, 2009 @ 9:04

    I became a causal visitor when my history book club began the study of Lincoln. When you provided a link to Professor's Blight's Yale Open Course I became hooked and enjoy waking up and learning more about this most import aspect of American History or what many call America's Second Revolution.

  • Dan Wright Nov 15, 2009 @ 8:25

    I started reading the blog earlier this year and I visit the site regularly.
    I'm an advertising rep for a newspaper in the Shenandoah Valley of VA. I've only scratched the surface when it comes to reading CW literature. One of the reasons I like this blog is that I get samples of that literature, which helps me decide if I want to invest the time and money in the book.
    I also enjoy the comments, especially when people like Brooks Simpson weigh in.
    CW Memory has helped me broaden my understanding of this part of American history. It's great to look beyond the battles and focus on the social, political, economic and moral issues of that time.

  • John L. Hughes III Nov 15, 2009 @ 7:45

    I started reading your blog last year while writing my senior honors thesis at James Madison University. I wrote comparing the careers of John Mosby and William Mahone and how one holds legendary status in Confederate Memory while the other (Mahone) has been relatively forgotten, at least until recently when works like your thesis and these new books on the Crater have shed light on him.

    It has been great getting updates on Civil War scholarship and views and its just nice to a have a little Civil War every morning(ish) and that is why I read your blog! Keep up the great work, I do appreciate it!

    J.L. Hughes III

  • Mannie Gentile Nov 14, 2009 @ 18:31

    I enjoy reading Civil War Memory for the same reason I like having my name written on oversize pieces of cardboard: its unlike all of the other uniform and characterless slips of paper that pass for scholarship, and its easy to grasp in the random fishbowl of opinion, conjecture, and community that comprises the ACW blogosphere.

    I think I've made myself quite clear.

    I thank you in advance for your partiality to the texture and corrugated strength of real character.

    Mannie Gentile

  • John Nov 14, 2009 @ 16:35

    I read the blog because, as an avid reader of Civil War material, I find the topics and discussions engaging. The occasional humorous video is a bonus.

  • jfe Nov 14, 2009 @ 16:04

    I read the blog because almost all of the topics are interesting. I have learned about a couple of good books here—Bynum's book on the Free State of Jones, Slotkin's book on the Crater—and I enjoy the tone of the conversation.

  • Vicki Betts Nov 14, 2009 @ 14:05

    I keep up with the current discussion of Civil War topics, and get leads for additional links for my university library LibGuide for our undergraduate and graduate Civil War classes:

    Vicki Betts

  • Niecey Nov 14, 2009 @ 10:32

    I am a homeschooling Mom who loves showing my kids sites like this one, to learn about our history. It's fascinating.

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