Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Booknotes IV (May '13)

New Arrivals:

1. Chancellorsville's Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church, May 3, 1863 by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White (Savas Beatie, 2013).

Savas Beatie is releasing a small flood of Chancellorsville related titles this year (including two about Jackson's demise). The first full length study of these two [Salem Church and 2nd Fredericksburg] critically important elements of the larger Chancellorsville campaign and battle, this book is highly anticipated.

2. Calamity at Chancellorsville: The Wounding and Death of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson by Matthew Lively (Savas Beatie, 2013).

This book seeks to set the record straight on the many questions [e.g."If he wasn't wounded where history has recorded, then who delivered the fatal volley? How many times did he fall from the stretcher? What medical treatment did he receive? What type of amputation did Dr. Hunter McGuire perform? Did Jackson really utter his famous last words, 'Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees?' What was the cause of his death?"] surrounding Jackson's friendly fire incident and subsequent death.

3. Lincoln Dreamt He Died: The Midnight Visions of Remarkable Americans from Colonial Times to Freud by Andrew Burstein (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013).

An examination of how dreams of famous American historical figures influenced their waking lives, subjects include Civil War era historical and literary personages like Lincoln, Alcott, and Twain.

4. Little Women: An Annotated Edition by Louisa May Alcott, ed. by Daniel Shealy (Belknap, 2013).

A heavy, oversized illustrated tome, this edition is presented with two columns, Alcott's text on the left and Shealy's biographical, cultural, and language references on the right. I'm not sure why Harvard sent me a copy of this one, but it's possible they think I need more literary refinement in the midst of all this military history.

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