Tag Archives: Books

Drew Faust Talks About Mothers of Invention

Update: Check out Drew Faust’s review of David Brion Davis’s new book.

This C-SPAN Booknotes interview with historian Drew Faust goes back to the publication of her 1996 book, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War. In 1996 I was working at Borders Books & Music in Rockville, Maryland. The store included an incredible American History section, which fueled my interest in the war. This was the second book that I read after McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. It’s a wonderful book even though its central thesis has been challenged and a great place to start if you are interested in Southern women during the Civil War. Continue reading

 

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 02/27

Marching MastersDavid Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Knopf, 2014).

Tammy Ingram, Dixie Highway: Road Building and the Making of the Modern South, 1900-1930 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Martin P. Johnson, Writing the Gettysburg Address (University of Kansas Press, 2013).

Lorien Foote, The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army (New York University Press, 2010).

Colin Woodward, Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War (University of Virginia Press, 2014).

 

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 02/08

Aaron AstorAaron Astor, Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation, and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri (Louisiana State University Press, 2012).

Douglas R. Egerton, The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Lorien Foote, The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army (New York University Press, 2010).

Blance M.G. Linden, Silent City on a Hill: Picturesque Landscapes of Memory and Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery (University of Massachusetts Press, 2007).

Jeffrey D. Marshall ed., A War of the People: Vermont Civil War Letters (University Press of New England, 1999).

Edward S. Redkey ed., A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865 (Cambridge University Press, 1992).

George Washington Williams, A History of the Negro Troops in the War of Rebellion, 1861-1865 (Fordham University Press, 2012; originally published, 1887).

 

Do Book Blurbs Have Any Value?

If you are like me than one of the first things you do after pulling a Civil War title off the shelf is look to see who blurbed it on the back cover. Do these brief statements of enthusiasm and support tell the customer anything of value about the book’s content or is it merely clever marketing?

It depends on how you read them. Continue reading

 

Best of 2013

Ian BurumaI decided to post my “Best of” list a little earlier this year. As you might imagine a return to full-time teaching limited what I was able to read over the past few months, but I still managed to make my way through a good number of books in 2013. I thought it was a pretty good year for Civil War books. As for my own research, this past year was a bit of a disappointment. Responsibilities at school also hampered my progress on the black Confederates book, but I am hoping to return to it over the summer. As I reported a few weeks ago, I am also researching the Crater once again for an essay that will appear in an edited volume in 2015. [Should be able to provide more details on it in the near future]. Finally, keep an eye out in January or February for a special issue of Common-place on the Civil War sesquicentennial that I co-edited with Megan Kate Nelson. The essays cover a wide range of topics and should appeal to both scholars and Civil War enthusiasts alike.

Best General History: Ian Buruma, Year Zero: A History of 1945 (The Penguin Press, 2013).

Best Overall Civil War History: Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 (Harper, 2013).

Best Campaign/Battle Study: Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Knopf, 2013).

Best Social History: Bruce Levine, The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South (Random House, 2013).

Best Slavery History: Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Best Edited Collection: Andrew L. Slap and Michael T. Smith, This Distracted and Anarchical People: New Answers for Old Questions about the Civil War-Era North (Fordham University Press, 2013).

Best Memory Study: Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard University Press, 2013) and Caroline Janney, Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

Best Confederate Study: Jaime A. Martinez, Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

Best Union Study: John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis, The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Congratulations to the winners and happy reading!