Saturday, October 20, 2007

Books received (Oct 07)

Regular rundown of book purchases and review copies received:

Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink: Letters, Diaries, and Memoirs from the Red River Campaigns, 1863–1864 ed. by Gary D. Joiner (University of Tennessee Press, 2007). --- UT Press's Voices of the Civil War Series is on a nice run as one of the premier publishers of edited primary accounts. In addition to its obvious value as a provider of useful published source materials, there are some really nice maps included in this volume [I was unaware that such a detailed map study of Pleasant Hill existed. The full run would appear worthy of publication somewhere].

Firearms in American History: A Guide for Writers, Curators, and General Readers by Charles G. Worman (Westholme Publishing, 2007). --- Contradictions and wildly varying opinions abound in the CW literature when it comes to the discussion of weaponry. Who to believe? Judging from the author's background, this particular study could serve as a valuable reference work.

Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History by Gordon Dammann and Alfred Jay Bollet (Demos Medical Publishing, 2007). --- The usefulness of the text is undetermined at present, but this ARC indeed looks like it should be a worthy purchase for the Civil War photography enthusiast.

Archaeological Perspectives on the American Civil War edited by Clarence R. Geier and Stephen R. Potter (University Press of Florida, 2003). --- Considering the mainstream popularity of both the ACW and archaeology, it is a bit surprising to see so few books published that utilize the intersection at depth [Hess's series of field fortifications immediately comes to mind]. On the other hand, perhaps archaeology's general popularity is largely limited to ancient civilizations. As the many surveys, studies, articles, and field reports attest, battlefield archaeology can teach us a great deal about the Civil War. I have been meaning to read this particular book for a long time, and am excited to finally obtain a copy. From the table of contents (see link above), this edited volume contains a great number of articles that should enlighten interested readers as to archaeological methods & techniques and how they can be used to draw conclusions about not only battles and battlefields, but also everyday life in camps, hospitals, farms, towns, and forts.


  1. Drew,

    Thanks for the post. I also rec'd a review copy of the medical photography book. In terms of a galley, it seemed pretty slick, but the photo reproduction is pretty poor, so I'm going to wait on the actual book to see if it is improved. I also appreciate your note on the archaeology book...I've been looking for a contact to interview for a column about African-American slave archaeology, and this might help.

    Keep up the great work.

    Jim Schmidt

  2. Jim,
    I don't know if this is the case here, but I've read that publishers are increasingly going the POD route with their ARCs. While there are advantages in time and expense, from my own experience the technology's performance is still mediocre to poor in terms of quality image reproduction.



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