Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Booknotes II (Feb '14)

New Arrivals:

1. St. Augustine and the Civil War by Robert Redd (The Hist Pr, 2014).

The depth of research appears to be a cut above that typically found in local histories of this type, both in general and in comparison to others from the same publisher.  If you didn't know already, Redd runs the Confederate Book Review website.

2. Civil War Arkansas, 1863: The Battle for a State by Mark K. Christ (Univ of Okla Pr, 2014).

This is a new paperback edition of Christ's fine 2010 book. It appears to be a straight reprint with no new material.

3. The Battle of Peach Tree Creek: Hood's First Sortie, July 20, 1864 by Robert D. Jenkins, Sr. (Mercer UP, 2014).

With the narrative part of the book more than 400 pages in length, this is a big battle study, the first of its kind for Peachtree Creek.  My first impression is I like what I see.  The bibliography is huge, heavy with primary sources, and the maps are acceptable in number and scale. Can't wait to delve in.

11 comments:

  1. Hello Drew

    Looking forward to your review. I bought a copy from B&N. I also so an article in the Dalton Georgia paper that the entire first printing of 1400 has been sold.

    Don Hallstrom

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    Replies
    1. Look at the problems with the illustration captioning at the front of the book. Man, it's astounding that such blunders made it through to the final version. I am reading it now and crossing my fingers that the main text has better proofing.

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    2. John FoskettFebruary 21, 2014

      I think that you may be on to a larger "proofing" issue.

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  2. Drew--what is the issue with the illustrations/captions?

    Mr. Jenkins had submitted the manuscript to me, and if I recall it was mammoth--longer than the published version. I read about 100 scattered pages and told him it was very well researched, but that it needed a good developmental editor who would work with him to restructure and remove this and that since it included virtually everything he had ever found about anything. Detail piled upon detail. He had no interest in working with us or editing his work, as I recall. That's a shame because I would have loved to have published it under our Savas Beatie imprint. I have a copy ordered, and hope it is good. These Atlanta-area battles need proper studies.

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    Replies
    1. Things like inappropriate formatting (i.e. capitalizing nouns as if you are doing titles instead of captions) and having placeholder galley notes make it into the retail version.

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    2. John FoskettFebruary 21, 2014

      It appears that he really (as in 'really") could have used an editor. Resisting a committed, knowledgeable editor is rarely a good idea. But I've only skimmed and as I've indicated look forward to Drew's review. We know that it will be thorough and on target.

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  3. Hello

    I appreciate all the comments. Like Ted said, the campaign in Georgia needs more coverage. I do have Ecelbarger's Atlanta and Hess's Kennesaw Mountain titles. I've not read the Hess yet and would be interested in what the people on this thread think, but I did enjoy Ecelbarger's.

    I thought I read somewhere that perhaps both of these authors were working on another battle study in this campaign.

    Don Hallstrom

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    Replies
    1. I think KM is one of his best books. Even though there remains a dearth of Atlanta Campaign titles, when they do get done we are lucky how good so many of them are. In general, an unusually high ratio of quality to crap.

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  4. Can't wait for your comments on the Peach Tree Creek book. I hope that it ends up being a good account. I will look forward to the Pros and Cons of it.

    If done correctly could really complement Ecelbarger's wonderful Battle of Atlanta book.

    Chris

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  5. Hess is wonderful on Kennesaw Mountain. I love the intelligence of his writing on the subject. I think it is one of the great modern Western Theater books. The tremendous fighting at the Dead Angle comes alive and is depicted in the most excellent detail ever.

    There are excellent command coverage and some anecdotes that haven't always found their way into print. His appendix on the battlefield today is a A+.

    Chris

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    Replies
    1. John FoskettFebruary 23, 2014

      Chris: I agree on the KM book (and virtually everything Hess puts his word processor to). The entrenchment diagrams are the usual added value. It appears that Ezra Church and Jonesboro are the remaining candidates for battle studies. I would welcome an effort by either Hess or Ecelbarger at either fight.

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