Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Booknotes III (Aug '14)

New Arrivals:

1. Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause by Heath Hardage Lee (Potomac Books, 2014).

According to the press release, this is the first biography of the famous "Daughter of the Confederacy" to appear in print. After spending much of her life abroad, "(h)er controversial engagement in 1890 to a Northerner lawyer whose grandfather was a famous abolitionist, and her later move to work as a writer in New York City, shocked her friends, family, and the Southern groups who worshipped her. Faced with the pressures of a community who violently rejected the match, Winnie desperately attempted to reconcile her prominent Old South history with her personal desire for tolerance and acceptance of her personal choices."

2. Collaborators for Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy by William F. Moore & Jane Ann Moore (Univ of Ill Pr, 2014).

The younger brother of famously murdered abolitionist newspaper editor Elijah Lovejoy, Illinois's Owen Lovejoy became a prominent antislavery radical himself. This study examines in depth the Lovejoy-Lincoln connection. "Exploring the men's politics, personal traits, and religious convictions, the book traces their separate paths in life as well as their frequent interactions. Collaborators for Emancipation shows how Lincoln and Lovejoy influenced one another and analyzes the strategies and systems of belief each brought to the epic controversies of slavery versus abolition and union versus disunion." The Moores are co-directors of the Lovejoy Society and editors of his papers.

3. "Stand to It and Give Them Hell": Gettysburg as the Soldiers Experienced it from Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top, July 2, 1863 by John Michael Priest (Savas Beatie, 2014).

During my early Civil War reading, Priest's Antietam: The Soldiers' Battle was one of my favorite books. This new study follows a similar format of presenting the action through the eyes of individual soldiers, with the field of battle being the second day of Gettysburg at Cemetery Ridge, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den and other famous July 2 locations. The professionally produced maps are a big upgrade from the hand-drawn affairs present in the author's earlier books.

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