Friday, September 6, 2013

Booknotes (Sept '13)

New Arrivals:

1. Greyhound Commander: Confederate General John G. Walker's History of the Civil War West of the Mississippi by John G. Walker, edited by Richard Lowe (LSU Pr, 2013).

Author of an excellent history of Walker's Texas Division, Lowe is uniquely qualified to introduce and annotate Walker's own history of the CW in the Trans-Mississippi, penned soon after the war's conclusion while the ex-Confederate was in exile in London.

2. Union Heartland: The Midwestern Home Front during the Civil War edited by Ginette Aley and J.L. Anderson (Southern Illinois UP, 2013).

This is a collection of seven home front themed essays (plus an introduction). Subjects include examinations of wartime farm life in various places, a study of the agricultural might of the Midwest, civilian interactions with Confederate POWs in Ohio, university student patriotism in Michigan, and soldier wives in Indiana.

3. Horses and Mules in the Civil War: A Complete History with a Roster of More Than 700 War Horses by Gene C. Armistead (McFarland, 2013).

"Using firsthand accounts, the many uses of equines during the war, the methods by which they were obtained, their costs, their suffering on the battlefields and roads, their consumption by soldiers, and racing, mounted music and other themes are all addressed".

4. Constitutionalism in the Approach and Aftermath of the Civil War edited by Paul D. Moreno and Johnathan O'Neill (Fordham UP, 2013).

The authors of the nine essays in this volume "examine key constitutional developments leading up to the War, the crucial role of Abraham Lincoln's statesmanship, and how the constitutional aspects of the War and Reconstruction endured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries". Topics range "from George Washington's conception of the Union and his fears for its future to Martin Van Buren's state-centered, anti-secessionist federalism; from Lincoln's approach to citizenship for African-Americans to Woodrow Wilson's attempt to appropriate Lincoln for the goals of Progressivism. Each essay zeroes in on the constitutional causes or consequences of the War, and emphasizes how constitutional principles shape political activity".

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