New To the Civil War Memory Library, 11/28

Broken RegimentIn the interest of full disclosure as we enter the Holiday Season, all book links on this site are to my Amazon affiliate account. I get a small cut in the form of a book credit from each purchase. Happy shopping.

Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf, 2014).

John Demos, The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic (Knopf, 2014).

Lesley Gordon, A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War (Louisiana State University Press, 2014).

William B. Lees and Frederick P. Gaske, Recalling Deeds Immortal: Florida Monuments to the Civil War (University of Florida Press, 2014).

Ted A. Smith, Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of Ethics (Stanford University Press, 2014).

11 comments… add one
  • Lesley Gordon’s book seems very interesting. The branding of units as cowardly during the Civil War is intriguing.

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    • Hi Pat,

      I am three chapters into Lesley’s book and thoroughly enjoying it. It’s an interesting story, though I wonder how unique it is compared to other regiments. The 16th never had an opportunity to redeem themselves after Antietam, which resulted in a decisive rout. There are plenty of stories of regiments breaking in battle and later recovering some of their reputation. Regimental histories offer a great deal of opportunity for understanding a host of issues, but often get bogged down in a straightforward linear narrative of one battle after another. I find the thematic approach to be much more insightful and helpful in better understanding unit cohesion and identity. This is also one of things that I really like about Mark Dunkelman’s regimental study.

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      • Dennis Brandt’s quirky but well-researched study of the 87th Pennsylvania, “From Home Guards to Heroes,” takes a similar thematic approach.

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  • I’m excited to get my hands on Ted Smith’s book. I’ve always been struck with a line he said in a seminar once, on the nature, and sometimes even need, of violence: “Abolitionists didn’t end slavery. Sherman did.” I’m looking forward to seeing him delve deeper into this topic.

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    • There has been a buzz about this book, which is why I decided to pick it up. Looking forward to diving in.

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    • The overwhelming majority of nations ended slavery without violence. The invasion of the South cost around 750K lives.

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      • The “invasion” of the South took place because according to Lincoln and the majority of Americans individual states had violated the Constitution. Slavery ended violently as part of the effort to save the Union.

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      • Rebecca Scott’s Degrees of Freedom, comparing Cuba with Louisiana, shows that abolition came along with violence in other countries. There’s also quite a bit of scholarship out there about the differences among different slave-owning societies that can explain the lack of a violent response among others in the face of the perception of abolition.

        I also think the French have the U.S. beat when it comes to the scale of war used to defend slavery, so we’re not even that exceptional in that regard.

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  • Totally changing the subject here in reference to your disclosure. Hey, no shame in your game, Kevin – why shouldn’t you get a few bucks for recommending books? You’ve been providing first-rate content here for years now gratis. There should be some sort of payoff, however small. But out of curiosity, did you disclose this info because you felt you had to or did someone call you out for using the associate link? I ask because I also direct people to my account when mentioning or recommending books.

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    • No one expressed concern. I’ve shared this information a couple of times over the years and it is done simply in the interest of transparency. With the Holiday Season upon us I also appreciate those people who click through to Amazon through my site.

      Reply

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