Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Praeger series

Praeger, an imprint of library and school publisher ABC-CLIO, is not really known as a big time Civil War presence, but they have an avalanche of small and spendy titles scheduled for the first half of next year, grouped into two series.

Battles and Leaders of the American Civil War:
* Shiloh: Confederate High Tide in the Heartland by Steven E. Woodworth.
* Antietam 1862 by T. Stephen Whitman.
* The Seven Days' Battles: The War Begins Anew by Judkin Browning.

Reflections on the Civil War Era:
* American Civil War Guerrillas: Changing the Rules of Warfare by Daniel E. Sutherland.
* Edifice of Freedom: The Civil War Amendments in Historical Perspective by James Humphreys.
* Civil War Journalism by Ford Risley.
* The Northern Home Front during the Civil War by Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller.

I like Judkin Browning as a scholar and essentially nothing worthwhile has been written about the Seven Days since Burton so I wouldn't mind checking that one out. It also might be interesting to see if Sutherland's book is a repackaging of A Savage Conflict or an exploration of a new theme associated with the guerrilla war. I have similar questions about the Shiloh volume by Woodworth. I would welcome being wrong, but, given the publisher's more generalist educational priorities, my gut feeling tells me it will be a brief synthesis of current Shiloh scholarship for the non-specialist.


  1. Hello Drew

    Thanks for the post. With the anniversary I guess we can expect many titles similar to the ones in this series. Most of them written for the entry level interest in The Civil War. I do think this will at least increase interest in the subject.

    However, with this said I was hoping the anniversary would also present many in-depth studies. Regarding Shiloh, I know Groom has a title coming out. I'm not expecting this to provide what I'm looking for. I was very disappointed to hear the Peter Cozzens wasn't going to finish his study of Shiloh.

    As you have likely heard, Savas will be publishing a nice two volume campaign study of Chickamauga from Dave Powell. Considering the subject, he is likely a very good choice. I'm also looking forward to Tim Smith's Corinth study.

    Have you heard of any other planned campaign studies? I had heard Glenn Tucker was also doing a Chickamauga Study. However, I think this has been planned for a very long time. I thought I also heard that someone was working on Stones River?

    Happy New Year
    Don Hallstrom

  2. Same to you, Don.

    No, I haven't heard any exciting news on the campaign study front.

    For major studies, the Sesquicentennial has been business as usual by my observation (at least so far). Where I've seen noticeable increases is in reprints (wow, tons of those) and the more general interest works. Not that it surprises me one bit, but the big publishers seem to be standing pat.

  3. The Praeger volume on immigrants in the Civil War-"True Sons of the Republic", was quite good.

  4. They published one of my favorite cavalry books, "The Raiders of 1862."

  5. Praeger books are overpriced. Has anyone else noticed that many of the books are now paperback being reprinted? And also many University presses are out of touch with their pricing. This seems to be a trend these days. As a result I know I will be buying fewer titles. Supposedly Scott Hartwig is done writing his forthcoming Antietam volume. Dont know who the publisher will be but I understand it should be coming out for the 150th Anniversary. Happy New year". JAMES MCCORRY

  6. Hello James

    Thanks very much for the response about Antietam. I had heard he was working on a book, but I hadn't heard anything about it in a very long time.

    I fully agree with your comments on pricing from university presses. I wanted to purchase a copy of the new John Pelham biography from Univ. of Alabama, but at 49.95, I'm going to need to wait for them to discount it or find it in the secondary market.

    Regarding pricing I also can't understand books that are published by Mcfarland. They seem very expensive and I've not seen very many reviews that convince me to purchase them.

    One title I do hope finally gets published this year is Gordon Rhea's final volume in his Overland Campaign series. I think it is planned for the fall.

    Don Hallstrom

  7. The author bio of one of Hartwig's articles on the Civil War Trust site mention that his Antietam work will be published as a two-volume campaign study.

  8. That's good that Hartwig's book is coming out. I've heard about it for ten years kind of like Gary Gallagher's mythical bio of Jubal Early that has been talked about since 1990.

    I wonder if Larry Daniels is working on any battle studies? It was suppose to be Chickamauga but that fell through, I guess.

    Thanks for the info.



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