Book reviews can be tricky. You have to strike the right balance between covering its strengths and weaknesses as well as resisting the temptation to impose your own agenda onto the author. In other words, review the book that the author wrote and not the one that you would have written. I’ve written my share Read more

Stephen Budiansky, Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas (Norton, 2019). John Harris, The Last Slave Ship: New York and the End of the Middle Passage (Yale University Press, 2021). Elizabeth Hinton, America on Fire: The Untold History of Political Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s (Liveright, 2021). Kelly D. Mezurek Read more

Chet Bennett, Resolute Rebel: General Rosell S. Ripley, Charleston’s Gallant Defender (The University of South Carolina Press, 2017). Anthea Butler, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America (The University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Karen L. Cox, No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice (The University of North Read more

William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Kate Masur, Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Norton, 2021). Tamika Y. Nunley, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, & Read more

Robert Elder, Calhoun: American Heretic (Basic Books, 2021). Kellie Carter Jackson, Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain eds., Four Hundred Years: A Community History of African-America, 1619-2019 (One World, 2021). John Matteson, A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Read more

New to the Civil War Memory Library

Note: Received a box of copies of Searching for Black Confederates if you are interested in a signed/personalized book. As I recently mentioned, sales of the hardcover are still strong. A paperback version will likely not be published before early 2022. George S. Burkhardt ed., Double Duty in the Civil War: The Letters of Sailor Read more

Best Civil War Books of 2020

Thanks once again to Terry Johnston at The Civil War Monitor magazine for inviting me to share some of my favorite Civil War books of the past year. It goes without saying that this is never easy. I could have easily chosen any of the books selected by the other contributors. Top Pick: This was Read more

New to the Civil War Memory Library

I haven’t updated my list of new acquisitions in quite some time. Most of what I am reading is in connection to my current book project on the life of John Christopher Winsmith of Spartanburg, South Carolina, who served as a captain in the Confederate army and later supported the Republican Party during Reconstruction. William Read more

My reading has been all over the place of late with very little of it related directly to the Civil War. Edward Ball, Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). Vincent Brown, Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (Harvard University Press, 2020). Shane Hamilton Read more

Did You Know? You can order a personalized copy of my latest book, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, direct from me through PayPal. It’s easy. Megan L. Bever, Lesley J. Gordon and Laura Mammina, eds. American Discord: The Republic and Its People in the Civil War Era (Louisiana State University Read more