New To the Civil War Memory Library, 01/11

Ari Kelman

It’s safe to say that 2013 is already shaping up to be a good year for Civil War titles.  I am in the middle of Oakes’s book and really looking forward to digging into new books by Kelman and Levine.  If I am not mistaken we now have the first modern biography of Thomas Nast.

Fiona Deans Halloran, Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard University Press, 2013).

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

James Oakes, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 (W.W. Norton, 2012).

Craig Symonds, The Civil War at Sea(Oxford University Press, 2012).

Daniel R. Weinfeld, The Jackson County War: Reconstruction and Resistance in Post-Civil War Florida (University of Alabama Press, 2012).

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

10 comments… add one
  • Brad Jun 3, 2013 @ 11:31

    I looked at the Levine book a few times in the bookstores and it seemed rather slim, plus the notes seemed a bit on the secondary source side, so I never purchased it.

    • Kevin Levin Jun 3, 2013 @ 11:38

      It definitely synthesizes a great deal of secondary literature. Like I said, those of you familiar with the historiography will likely find much that is new. The book is ideal as a serious introduction to the Confederacy and the war itself.

    • Nathan Towne Jun 5, 2013 @ 9:17


      What books have have you been reading instead?

      Nathan Towne

  • Nathan Towne Jun 2, 2013 @ 12:31


    I just bought Bruce Levine’s book today. Have you gotten around to reading it yet? If so what are your feelings on it?

    Nathan Towne

    • Kevin Levin Jun 2, 2013 @ 12:34

      I read it. It’s a very readable history of the Confederacy that does a good job of explaining how slavery was both a strength and weakness. Not sure how many surprises you will find given your familiarity with the historiography.

      • Nathan Towne Jun 3, 2013 @ 10:20

        I appreciate your feedback. Hopefully I will get around to reading it soon. I skimmed through it yesterday it appears to be quite good. I have always loved Bruce Levine, although last fall he wrote a highly critical review of William Cooper’s new study “The War is upon Us,” a book that I think is an extremely important and relentlessly challenging contribution to our understanding of the Secession Crisis. I didn’t think his criticisms held up during my reading at all.

        Nathan Towne

  • Daniel Weinfeld Jan 11, 2013 @ 21:08

    Kevin – Thanks for the mention. I hope you get a chance to check the book out (and enjoy it too!).

  • akelman Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:46

    Thanks, Kevin! I really can’t wait to hear what you think of the book. Or maybe I can. I guess it depends on what you think of it. Regardless, it appears to be out of stock at Amazon — which is odd, because it’s not even scheduled to be in stock til Monday. Oh well.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 12, 2013 @ 2:49

      I still can’t figure out how to read my Amazon book page.

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