Acquisitions, 06/30

I haven’t updated my list of new books in quite some time.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to read, but I highly recommend books by McCurry, Miller, and Noe.  Happy reading.

Daniel Crofts, A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and “The Diary of a Public Man” (LSU Press, 2010).

Stanley Harrold, Border War: Fighting Over Slavery Before the Civil War (UNC Press, 2010).

Graham R.G. Hodges, David Ruggles: A Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City (UNC Press, 2010).

Michael Kammen, Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Brian Craig Miller, John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory (University of Tennessee Press, 2010).

Kenneth W. Noe, Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army After 1861 (UNC Press, 2010).

Michael O’Brien, Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860 (UNC Press, 2010).

Donald Stoker, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Cynthia Watchell, War No More: The Anti-War Impulse in American Literature, 1861-1914 (LSU Press, 2010).

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

6 comments… add one
  • Kevin Levin Jun 30, 2010 @ 7:26

    In case any of you are interested, I made this short video of my library back in May 2009. It should give you an ideal of the kinds of books I read.

  • Eric Wittenberg Jun 30, 2010 @ 6:18


    Okay, fair enough. I guess that’s why there is more than one flavor of ice cream. I’ve never found social history terribly compelling and am interested in tactics and leadership decisions. You find social history compelling and don’t find the tactics as interesting. Neither is right and neither is wrong, just different.

    I do think that your black Confederates book will make for interesting reading and look forward to it. Someone needs to poke a hole in the balloon of the neo-Confederates, and you’re just the guy to do it and do it well.


  • Rob Wick Jun 30, 2010 @ 6:00

    I always hesitate when someone claims to “solve” a historical question which has raged for decades, but I plan to check out Croft’s book on the Diary of a Public Man. Sounds interesting.

    • Kevin Levin Jun 30, 2010 @ 6:18

      I’ve only had a chance to read the introduction, but it does look very interesting.

  • Eric Wittenberg Jun 30, 2010 @ 5:50


    Do you ONLY buy university press books? Every single book on that list is a university press book. As just one example–and I am NOT referring specifically to my own work here–Savas-Beatie publishes some extremely good books, and if you’re only buying books by university presses, you’re missing out on some great work. S-B’s last two books–Tom Clemens’ edited version of the first half of Ezra Carmen’s work on the 1862 Maryland Campaign and Charlie Knight’s exceptional book on the Battle of New Market (even Jack Davis acknowledges that Charlie’s work has eclipsed his as the standard reference on the battle–are of a caliber that I will be surprised if they don’t win awards. S-B, of course, is a commercial publisher, but it has extremely high standards and publishes VERY good books, and if you’re limiting yourself to university press publications, it seems to me that you’re missing out on some REALLY good stuff.


    • Kevin Levin Jun 30, 2010 @ 6:04

      Hi Eric,

      I appreciate the concern, but keep in mind that just about every title listed was sent to me by the publisher as a review/publicity copy. I’m at a point now where I rarely have to purchase books. You may also remember that I tend not to read battle/campaign studies; it’s just not one of my major interests when it comes to Civil War history. That said, I’ve read plenty of battle books, but I simply do not have a need to read multiple studies of the same battle. I’ve read Davis’s book on New Market, but I have absolutely no interest in reading another book on the subject. There is no payoff for me. S-B has indeed done some excellent work of late as have other non-academic publishers, but as you know they tend to publish military titles. Finally, I still find that the most interesting analysis is to be found in university press books. Keep in mind that I hope to finish a book at some point on the subject of “black Confederates” for Westholme Publishing.

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