Monday, April 30, 2012

Booknotes III (April '12)

New Arrivals:

1. Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction by Allen C. Guelzo (Oxford Univ Pr, 2012).

2. Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War by Megan Kate Nelson (Univ of Georgia Pr, 2012).

Georgia has recently published two similarly themed books, this one and Lisa Brady's War Upon the Land. Brady's work touts itself as the first environmental history of the war, but I was unimpressed with its claims, feeling that she was simply replacing established nomenclature with that of the environmental studies academic discipline, and in the process not materially enhancing our understanding of the war's physical and cultural transformation of the southern landscape. Others disagree, obviously.

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