Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Booknotes (Sept '14)

New Arrivals:

1. Lincoln's Political Generals: The Battlefield Performance of Seven Controversial Appointees by Benton Rain Patterson (McFarland, 2014).

A number of recent books and articles have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to revise the traditional view of the military ability of political generals (especially the Union ones) and the propriety of the appointment system that put these men in such high position. The introduction provides a pretty good rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of the system. Rather than offering his own ultimate judgement on the merits of each general, the author is more interested in presenting a balanced view of the military career of each and leaving it to the reader to decide.

2. The St. Albans Raid: Confederate Attack on Vermont by by Michelle Arnosky Sherburne (The Hist Pr, 2014).

Arcadia Publishing, that widely distributed purveyor of local photographic histories, recently acquired The History Press and the merger's influence can already be seen in this study, with its thick, glossy paper stock and even higher than usual number of illustrations. The raid has been the subject of countless book chapters and articles but (IIRC) it's been a while since the last full length treatment.

1 comment:

  1. John FoskettSeptember 17, 2014

    Drew: This is asked only half-jokingly. Has anyone ever calculated what a MacFarland soft cover costs per page of text? As i understand it, the publishing process there is pretty author-centered, so i'm puzzled by what the built-in costs are.

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