By opening up the study of violence in the Civil War to non-traditional warfare and making comparisons to international events, The Calculus of Violence argues that the American Civil War was violent or restrained at different times and places during the war, that violence occurred along a spectrum over the course of the conflict but did not move in any linear progression. Sheehan-Dean also demonstrates that the Civil War, considered devastating to the United States at the time, did not compare to other uprisings and conflicts around the world that were far deadlier.Read More
Katie Thompson reviews John Reeves’ new work The Lost Indictment of Robert E Lee, a reevaluation of Lee, President Johnson, and Reconstruction through the lens of the legal case brought against the former Confederate General in the aftermath of the Civil War.Read More
On first glace, Micki McElya’s The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery appears to be a history of the creation and development of the United States’ most famous national cemetery. Very quickly, however, the reader realizes that this book is a much deeper analysis of how Arlington National Cemetery grew from a family home and plantation to the country’s most sacred burial grounds, one that considers race, gender, memory, and politics. As a result, this work illuminates not only the history of the National Cemetery, but the society in which it developed.Read More
In June, Alexander Rose (known for Washington’s Spies which AMC turned into its drama series Turn) released his newest book, Men of War: The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima. A direct successor of John Keegan’s groundbreaking The Face of Battle, Rose seeks to create the American version by focusing on American troops in the three iconic battles listed in the title. Like Keegan, Rose wrote the book determined to find the common participant’s experience of the battles, instead of a traditional, top-down military history of the tactics and maneuverings of the armies.
In July, the New York Times published a highly critical review of Men of War written by Andrew J. Bacevich. Bacevich tears Rose apart, even stating that were was no creativity or genius in the work. While every book deserves some critiques, his review sparked discussion and debate among historians, prompting a response on H-War from Rose himself.Read More
This new volume, published at the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the original publication of Drum-Taps, seeks to restore the original Civil War volume for readers. By reconstructing the original work, editor Lawrence Kramer, intends to recapture the original voice and intention of Whitman’s poetry. With an excellent introduction and annotations within the poems, this new edition is an excellent resource for those interested in poetry, American literature, or the Civil War.Read More