How about a book deal with Westholme Publishing. That’s right, today I was approached by a representative who wanted to know if I might be interested in writing a book about “black Confederates” and historical memory. We’re talking 80,000 words (roughly 350 pages) on the role of black Southerners in the Confederate army and a history of how narratives about those roles evolved throughout the postwar period. I should point out that I have not signed a contract and I made it clear that I will do nothing until my Crater manuscript is finished and mailed to the publisher. At this point I am hoping to put together a proposal for Westholme some time in June/July. It should come as no surprise, however, that I am excited about starting this project. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about just such a project for some time, but wasn’t sure whether I could find a home for it.
I am envisioning a book that takes a close look at the recent resurgence of interest in these stories and how they function in our popular culture and on the eve of the sesquicentennial. As many of you know I’ve already written quite a bit about this subject on the blog. While most of the issues to be addressed can be found somewhere in the Archives a book project will give me a chance to tighten up the arguments and hopefully contribute something that will be appealing to both scholars and Civil War enthusiasts. Best of all, given the paucity of reliable books on the subject I have no doubt that it will fly off the shelves. It should be a fun project.[Photo from the 52nd Regimental String Band Scrapbook]