Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Booknotes (March '14)

New Arrivals:

1. William Gilmore Simms's Selected Reviews on Literature and Civilization edited by James Everett Kibler, Jr. and David Moltke-Hansen (Univ of SC Pr, 2014).

Simms was a prolific reviewer and essayist and this volume collects 62 of his newspaper reviews, journal reviews, book notes, and four critical essays; organized in two parts. For part one, "Kibler offers an introduction that examines Simms's reviewing habits and the aesthetic and critical values that informed the author's reviews. Kibler then publishes selected texts of reviews and provides historical and cultural backgrounds for each selection," while "Moltke-Hansen's introduction to part two examines Simms's roles in, and responses to, the Romantic critical revolution and the other revolutions then roiling Europe and America".

2. The Civil War in the Jackson Purchase, 1861-1862: The Pro-Confederate Struggle and Defeat in Southwest Kentucky by Dan Lee (McFarland, 2014).

During the early war period covered by this book, the Jackson Purchase was one of the most militarily contested and important geographical areas in the country. No other study of this type exists, although Hughes's Belmont book and Cooling's Henry & Donelson campaign history were both more expansive than their titles indicated. Lee covers both of the above, as well as, among other things, secession in SW Kentucky, the occupation of Columbus, and the struggle for Island No. 10. The final chapter briefly discusses the Union's 1862-65 occupation of the region and various Confederate sorties into the region.

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