Mercy Street: A Reading List

Thought I would put together a short reading list for those of you watching Mercy Street. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Rather, it offers a few suggestions to help get you started. Feel free to add further suggestions in the comments section below.

George Kundahl’s Alexandria Goes To War: Beyond Robert E. Lee offers a fairly comprehensive look at the city that serves as the setting for the show, but it does not delve much into the African-American experience. Continue reading “Mercy Street: A Reading List”

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 03/01

Land Deluged in BloodPatrick Breen, The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Gary Gallagher and Joan Waugh, The American War: A History of the Civil War Era (Flip Learning, 2015).

Matthew W. Hall, Dividing the Union: Jesse Burgess Thomas and the Making of the Missouri Compromise (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015).

Elaine F. Parsons, Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan during Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Franklin D. Vangnone and Deborah E. Ryan, Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums (Left Coast Press, 2015).

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 11/30

Rabe, Damn YankeesJust a quick thank you to those of you who have purchased items on Amazon through my blog. As I have pointed out before, I earn a small percentage from each purchase in the form of a credit, which I use to purchase new books. With the Holiday Shopping Season upon us please think about clicking through one of these links to make your purchases. Every little bit helps and it gives me the opportunity to keep up with new releases.

Of course, no worries if you believe that Amazon is the root of all evil.

George C. Rable, Damn Yankees!: Demonization and Defiance in the Confederate South (Louisiana State University Press, 2015).

Patrick Rael, Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865  (University of Georgia Press, 2015).

Eric Rauchway, The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace (Basic, 2015).

Nicholas Stargardt, The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-–1945 (Basic, 2015).

Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (Harper, 2015).

Civil War Monitor’s Best Books of 2015

This year I was once again asked to select some of my favorite Civil War titles from 2015 for The Civil War Monitor magazine. It’s always difficult to narrow it down, but I gave it a shot. You will also find lists from Elizabeth Varon, Brian Matthew Jordan, Ethan Rafuse and Andrew Wagenhoffer, whose selections could just as easily have landed on my list. As you can see it was a good year for Harvard University Press.

After AppomattoxTop Pick: Gregory P. Downs’ After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War (Harvard University Press) challenges the notion that Confederates were prepared to acquiesce after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Indeed, he argues that a state of belligerency continued to define life in the South until 1871. Downs shows how federal military occupation remained a potent force during much of this period as the government attempted to protect the freedom and civil rights of the African-American population. Clearly influenced by America’s occupation experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, Downs argues convincingly that force was a crucial component of democracy’s  short-lived life in the postwar South. This book is a must read. Continue reading “Civil War Monitor’s Best Books of 2015”

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 11/19

Civil War WestsThree of the books below reflect my recent interest in the West during the Civil War era, which I know next to nothing about other than having read Ari Kelman’s brilliant book about the Sand Creek Massacre. I am currently working on a little project that involves an almost complete run of the Second Colorado Cavalry’s camp newspaper published in 1864 and 1865. What I find interesting is the way in which the Civil War and growing concerns on the frontier with Native Americans begin to overlap by the end of the war. I will share more about this project in the coming weeks as it begins to come together. Thanks to my fellow Book Squad members, Megan Kate Nelson and Heather Cox Richardson, for the suggestions.

Adam Arenson and Andrew R. Graybill, eds., Civil War Wests: Testing the Limits of the United States (University of California Press, 2015).

Leornard L. Richards, Who Freed the Slaves?: The Fight over the Thirteenth Amendment (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Hampton Sides, Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West (Anchor, 2007).

Andrew L. Slap and Frank Towers, eds., Confederate Cities: The Urban South during the Civil War Era (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Elliott West, The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado (University Press of Kansas, 1998).