New to the Civil War Memory Library

My reading has been all over the place of late with very little of it related directly to the Civil War.

Edward Ball, Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020).

Vincent Brown, Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (Harvard University Press, 2020).

Shane Hamilton, Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy (Princeton University Press, 2008).

Lauren R. Kerbry, Saving History: How White Evangelicals Tour the Nation’s Capital and Redeem a Christian America (University of North Carolina Press, 2020).

Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (Vintage, 2010).

Imani Perry, May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem (University of North Carolina Press, 2018).

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

Christopher Tomlins, In the Matter of Nat Turner: A Speculative History (Princeton University Press, 2020).

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Beacon Press, 1995).

Gil Troy, Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s (Princeton University Press, 2005).

10 comments… add one
  • Craig L. Aug 30, 2020 @ 16:16

    I followed the link to Kerbry’s book Saving History and the Amazon site it took me to listed some other books bought by people who bought Saving History. One of those was by Heather Cox Richardson called How the South Won the American Civil War. My wife is a big fan of Heather Cox Richardson’s blog, so I may have to take a look at her book the next time I get to Barnes and Noble. Personally, I’m more intrigued by German Assimilation in the U.S. and how it was inspired by the Civil War and effectuated by WWI and WWII.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 31, 2020 @ 4:53

      Heather’s book is well worth reading.

  • Brad Jul 31, 2020 @ 4:33

    What did you think of the Ball book, if you had a chance to read it.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 31, 2020 @ 5:40

      I am just about finished with it. If you’ve read SLAVES IN THE FAMILY than you should have a sense of his style and pace. I recommend it.

  • New England Jon Jul 20, 2020 @ 7:23

    Good morning again, Kevin. I looked at the titles you posted. Trucking Country sounds interesting to me. I’m a roadgeek of sorts. I understand the criticisms of the Interstate Highway System, but I fell in love with it as a kid and I imagine there’s some discussion of that in this book. Have you ever read John McPhee’s Uncommon Carriers?

    I’m not sure if I would be interested in Saving History, but seeing its Amazon page reminded me of a debate I ran across after my last Lincoln Jag last summer. I recall one writer who felt that the Founding Father’s were synthetic Thomists. Because the New Lights like Jonathan Edwards melded Locke and Calvin, the writer (Peter Lawler) felt that the Founding was based upon Aristotelean Scholasticism. This is unlike the Straussians who thought that the Founding was based on low, but solid, foundations.

    But I imagine the book doesn’t touch on this. Evangelicalism is not Catholicism or Calvinism.

  • New England Jon Jul 19, 2020 @ 4:23

    (Ctd) I like Williams writing style and these books are a compact 400 pages in length, so it is a relatively quick journey through the war. I think Rotov compared Wili to Mencken. I only know the latter by reputation, but the prose is crisp.

    I’m not a stranger to the war, but I haven’t read much about it since last summer when I went on a Lincoln jag. I was able to hunt down some of Harry Jaffa’s work after hearing about him in John McKee Barr’s (I think that is the author’s name) Loathing Lincoln. Williams is challenging some of Jaffa’s assertions that Lincoln is a continuation of the Founding Father’s. From what I gather, Williams was a fan of Abe. But he has a funny way of showing it.

    In Lincoln and the Radicals, Lincoln is portrayed as leading from behind on the issue of emancipation. The Radical Republicans and northern public opinion were ahead of him. I haven’t finished that book yet, I suppose one could argut that Lincoln’s gradual, perhaps Burkean, approach was more effective. The Radicals aren’t portrayed as heroes, either. Some are corrupt and they champion ineffective generals.

    McClellan comes across as an almost sympathetic figure. That may be why Rotov mentioned the books. When I was in the Army myself I didn’t care for West Pointers and I recall seeing some local Sons of the American Revolution pronounce George Washington’s name with disgust because he preferred professional soldiers to militia. I’m sympathetic to those SAR guys. Maybe we’d be a more peaceful nation if more shared their, and the oft-maligned General Charles Lee’s POV. But the West Pointers were more effective than the political generals. I’m not sure if there were any apolitical non academy officers that I am overlooking.

    • New England Jon Jul 19, 2020 @ 9:24

      Speaking of Charles Lee, it feels as hot outside today as I imagine that day was during the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse.

  • New England Jon Jul 19, 2020 @ 3:59

    Good morning, Kevin. Working from home led me to listen to various lectures and discussions online. I wound up playing some of the CSpan AVW material. When Connecticut opened up non essential businesses my first stop was a used bookstore where I found Eric Wittenberg’s Little Phil. I only read a part of it, but looking up the book online led me to Dimitri Rotov and his enigmatic blog.

    The blog is hard to follow, but reading it suggested to me that I might be interested in T. Harry Williams. I have a Rhode Island library card, so I was able to request Lincoln and the Radicals and Lincoln and His Generals.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 19, 2020 @ 4:08

      Williams is certainly worth reading, but it goes without saying that a good deal has been published since its publication.

      • New England Jon Jul 19, 2020 @ 4:42

        Digressing here, I had a laugh when Lincoln and the Radicals referred to Abner Doubleday as the inventor of baseball. That’s a myth that’s been disproved.

        I’m somewhat surprised that the General was a radical. If I recall correctly, his father was tight with Thurlow Weed.

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