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).

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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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