Tag Archives: Books

Another Gettysburg Book? What Will the Buffs Say?

GettysburgMy copy of Allen Guelzo’s new book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion will arrive later this afternoon.  I will likely dive right in.  I’ve read all of Guelzo’s books and have learned a great deal.  Yesterday the Civil War Monitor published a review of the book by Will Greene. At first I stayed away not wanting my reading to be influenced, but in the end my curiosity got the best of me.  Greene highly recommends the book, which is a very good sign.

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

 

Thomas Fleming Plays Civil War Historian

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.

 

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 04/12

Milliken's BendLinda Barnickel, Milliken’s Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory, (Louisiana State University Press, 2013).

Earl J. Hess, Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign, (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

William A. Link, Atlanta, Cradle of the New South: Race and Remembering in the Civil War’s Aftermath, (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

Hampton Newsome, Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864, (Kent State University Press, 2013).

Caleb Smith, The Oracle and the Curse: A Poetics of Justice from the Revolution to the Civil War, (Harvard University Press, 2013).

 

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 03/26

Reardon VosslerHoward Bahr, THE BLACK FLOWER: A Novel of the Civil War, (Nautical & Aviation Publishing, 1997).

Ronald S. Coddington, African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012).

Michele Gillespie, Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South,  (University of Georgia Press, 2013).

Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler, A Field Guide to Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People, (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

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).

 

Return to Charlottesville and the Virginia Festival of the Book

BookFestival-2013-Small-No-VFH-No-Date-No-Cville-ColorOn 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. :-)