In his review, Greene cites a reference by Guelzo to the likely reception of his book among his fellow academics.
Guelzo, the Henry C. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, belongs to that class of academic historians who, Guelzo accurately notes, consider studies that deal with battles as possessing “a reputation close to pornography” (xvi). His Acknowledgments serve primarily as fair warning to his scholarly colleagues that they are unlikely to approve of this book because it dares to commit almost purely military history.
I think such a concern is misplaced unless Guelzo is referring to the academic world beyond his colleagues in Civil War/Southern studies. My guess is that many, if not most, of his academic colleagues are going to devour this book even if they don’t admit so in polite company. And those who don’t will certainly not hold it against him. Continue reading “Another Gettysburg Book? What Will the Buffs Say?”→
What happens when you bring a radio talk show host, who hasn’t thought about the Civil War since High School and a historian, who has been studying it for five years? What is truly miraculous is that in the process Thomas Fleming was able to produce “A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War.” I lost count of the numerous factual mistakes and exaggerations made by Fleming. Truly horrific, but given Fleming’s popularity I have no doubt that the book will fly off the shelves. This new understanding basically comes down to the observation that the North and South really didn’t like one another.
On Thursday I head to Charlottesville to take part in the Virginia Festival of the Book. I’ve been looking forward to this event for the past six months. As many of you know I lived and taught there for ten years. It’s one of my favorite events of the year and one that I hoped to participate in once the book was finished. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to return and share the finished product with friends, who supported me personally and professionally.
I will be joining Ron Coddington for a panel called “Images of the Civil War.” Many of you know Ron from his many NYTs Disunion articles as well as his three books of Civil War soldier photographs published by John Hopkins University Press. The plan is to take a few minutes each to share some images from our books, respond to a few comments from my friend and moderator, Rick Britton, before opening it up to the audience.
This is going to be a lot of fun. There will be plenty of books for sale. The event takes place on Friday at 4pm at the City Council Chambers on the Downtown Mall (605 E Main St.). I would love to see you there.
p.s. If my presence isn’t sufficient to bring you out, Michaela will be there as well.