Saturday, January 17, 2009

Booknotes (January 09)

Other acquisitions or review copies received this month:

Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War by Marc Egnal (Hill and Wang, 2009), another espousing the primacy of economic factors in leading the country to Civil War, aroused my curiosity, not because I have a particular affinity for that line of argument, but because the author appears to be a well respected historian. I am personally unfamiliar with his prior publications, but, while two books currently in print with Oxford Univ. Press doesn't make one unassailable, they count for something. I haven't plunged any deeper than the book jacket yet, and, though it promises a broad new reinterpretation of the economic theme, I am hoping there is much more to it than the established arguments promoted therein. We shall see.

Antietam, South Mountain & Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide by Ethan S. Rafuse (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2008). The best guide series going. Pretty good regional balance, too. Hope they keep it up.

Soldier Life—Many Must Fall: Two Civil War Narratives. True Histories of the 14th Iowa Infantry in Camp and Combat, Told by the Wolf Creek Rangers of Tama County by B. F. Thomas and Peter Wilson (The Camp Pope Bookshop, 2008). The book can also be purchased from the Traer Historical Museum, 514 2nd St., Traer, Iowa 50675, for $30.00 plus $5.00 postage (Iowa residents add $1.80 sales tax).

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