Thursday, June 25, 2009

Booknotes IV (June '09)

Dimitri is right about the recent upsurge in releases.

Acquisitions or review copies received this month:

1. Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee edited by Kent T. Dollar, Larry H. Whiteaker, and W. Calvin Dickinson (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2009).
A fascinating pairing, for sure. This book is eighteen essays, divided into three sections covering secession, the nature of the war and its participants, and Reconstruction.

2. A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War by Daniel E. Sutherland (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2009).
The Civil War guerrilla warfare literature (from professional historians and avocational writers alike) is dominated by local and regional studies. With Sutherland we get instant credibility from a top authority on the subject, and I am guessing that this publication will be the best 'big picture' book to date.

3. In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications and Confederate Defeat by Earl J. Hess (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2009).
The third and final installment from Hess's series [reviews of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2]. In addition to his impressive reconstruction of battlefield fortifications (from a combination of archival research and field work), Hess's series has always had significant thematic elements, as well. It will be interesting to see what he came up with for the Petersburg Campaign.

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