My Library

This is my first attempt at using my new HD video camera. I’m going to continue to play around with iMovie to improve the overall quality. Perhaps I will try uploading to Vimeo to get a comparison.  A number of other bloggers have experimented quite effectively with video blogging and have given me a number of ideas. Stay tuned…

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16 comments… add one
  • Timothy Jun 10, 2009 @ 11:06

    Wow, that’s an amazing collection. One thing I noticed is that Lee has certainly defeated grant in the battle for your bookshelves.

    • Kevin Levin Jun 10, 2009 @ 11:13


      You are very perceptive. From the beginning I’ve been much more interested in the history of the South and it continues to frame my research interests. The other reason for the imbalance is a reflection of the quality of historians who have tackled Lee. You’ve got historians such as Gary Gallagher, Emory Thomas, Elizabeth B. Pryor, Robert McClaslin, Steven Woodworth, and Michael Fellman, all of whom are top-notch scholars. Unfortunately, Grant has lagged behind, though I highly recommend Brooks Simpson’s scholarship. I am really looking forward to Joan Waugh’s soon-to-be-released study of Grant and historical memory in the fall. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Kevin Levin May 14, 2009 @ 2:57


    As always, thanks for the kind words. The owl was given to me by a fellow student while an undergraduate. I would love to be able to share Michaela’s unedited comments, but you must remember that this is a family website. 🙂

  • Sherree Tannen May 14, 2009 @ 2:44


    I too loved your books, but what really caught my eye was the small statue of an owl that sits on one of your bookshelves. Upon seeing the owl, I immediately made a tobacco offering and asked Grandfather Owl to “bring a blessing upon your head”, as my husband would say. (My husband was brought up Orthodox. I have no idea what that means–“blessing on your head” –but I like the idea of if) You have certainly managed to attract and maintain a diverse group of readers. That takes talent. Have a good one. Sherree

    PS. I would love to hear Michaela’s unedited response to the comments of all of your unruly readers, lol. (Hi Michaela, if you are reading this! Thanks for bringing your very welcome point of view into ongoing discussions! Sherree)

  • Richard G. Williams, Jr. May 13, 2009 @ 14:58

    Yes, gorgeous day, but I was tied up in meetings all day. Oh well.

    I’ll try to do the office/book thing this weekend.


  • Richard G. Williams, Jr. May 13, 2009 @ 13:56

    Very nice collection Kevin. I’ve been promising my readers a similar tour of my office for some months now. Soon, I hope, soon. BTW, I also have a Jefferson book stand.

    • Kevin Levin May 13, 2009 @ 14:02

      Hi Richard,

      Nice to hear from you and I hope all is well. I look forward to the tour of your book space. It’s always nice to see how people arrange their libraries. I trust you enjoyed what was a beautiful day.

  • Crystal Marshall May 12, 2009 @ 17:35

    Wow! The only thing that would make it just a little more perfect…a fireplace with a big, comfy chair and some hot chocolate :0) I bet the bookstores love your patronage!

    Good job with the video…it was kind of weird (in a good way, of course) hearing your voice for the first time!

    BTW…is the Michaela who posts on your blog your wife?

    • Kevin Levin May 13, 2009 @ 1:06

      That sounds like a great idea. Perhaps I can put in a fake fireplace to get the same effect. (lol) Yes, the Michaela who occasionally comments is my wife, but that is usually the edited version. I get the complete narrative over dinner.

  • Kevin Levin May 12, 2009 @ 16:22


    If I don’t watch it I will end up having to store books on the floor too. 🙂

  • Jimmy Johnson May 12, 2009 @ 12:22

    Great library, Kevin. Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to see other habitats. I’m green-eyed over all of your bookcases. I have as much on the floor as I do on the shelves! I’ve got to remedy this…..someday. Alas, I have to keep most of my acquisitions under my wife’s radar!!!! ; )

  • Ajay Reddy May 12, 2009 @ 8:38

    I too envy you!

    Eventually I’m going to study eighteenth-century European international politics. I’m still in college, and when I started in 2006 I subscribed to several journals and still liked to buy used books online. By the end of that school year I realized that when on my own I wouldn’t be able to afford all the good journals, and soon after realized that books would have to go, too. That period, when I tried to resign myself to that reality, was one of the saddest of my life!

    Have you seen this one?

    If you click on the ‘r’ link at the bottom-right corner of the window it will open separately in realplayer. You can move the switch to a little bit after 21:00, when Gary Gallagher gives a tour of his office and library. When I first saw this I shook my fist with envy and whispered “Damn you!” to the computer screen. Gallagher does have a nice set-up, it must be said.

    • Kevin Levin May 12, 2009 @ 8:51


      I had the good fortune of being given a personal tour of Gallagher’s library. Actually, it was at his previous home which included about twice the number of books if you can imagine. Thanks so much for the link.

  • Kevin Levin May 12, 2009 @ 7:00


    I do own the OR on CD. The bound volumes simply would have taken up too much room. I also use Cornell’s website, though I find it very difficult to navigate. No, I haven’t read every book, but I have read a good deal of the collection. I am a voracious reader and usually have 3-5 books going at once. It should come as no surprise that blogging has made me very attractive to publishers who have been very generous in mailing me advanced/complimentary copies.

  • Rob Wick May 12, 2009 @ 6:46


    Always fascinating to see other collections. Although I don’t have as many books as you do, I have enough (so I’m told). Was interested to know if you have the OR on DVD since I didn’t see it on your shelves. Also, I’ll ask you the question I always get asked…have you read them all? Interesting piece.


  • JE May 12, 2009 @ 4:49

    That’s an impressive collection, Kevin. My fiancé and I are currently house hunting and she has already banished all things Civil War to one room of our house that doesn’t yet exist. I can only hope that one day that room will be half as impressive as yours!

    By the way, can I get your address, hours you are away from home and the best place to inconspicuously park a small U-Haul? =)

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