Thursday, March 5, 2015

Booknotes II (Mar '15)

New Arrivals:

1. To the Gates of Atlanta: From Kennesaw Mountain to Peach Tree Creek, 1-19 July 1864 by Robert D. Jenkins, Sr. (Mercer UP, 2015).

"From Smyrna to Ruff’s Mill, Roswell to Vinings, Nancy Creek to Peach Tree Creek, and Moore’s Mill to Howell’s Mill, To the Gates of Atlanta tells the story of each as part of the larger story which led to the fall of The Gate City of the South". If you've read the author's Peachtree Creek book you can expect a similar experience. As with that earlier study, this one delves deeply into aspects of the Atlanta Campaign previously lacking close scrutiny.

2. Four Score and Four: America in 1860 by Gil Hahn (Author, 2014).

From the description: "Four Score and Four steps outside the conventional approach to history and looks not just to the monumental, but also the merely significant as well as the mundane. In so doing, it recounts the past in a manner enriched by a wider appreciation of the period. Analyzing political events and military resources alongside social, cultural, economic, and technological circumstances of the time, it presents a panoramic portrait of 1860 America, depicting the dynamic whole of the country and the daily lives of its people."


  1. Well, after a skim, I'm still left with the impression that Mr. Jenkins would greatly benefit from a good editor. If I recall correctly, Ted S. weighed ion briefly on this in regard to the first book. It's unfortunate because the author is making a contribution by tackling in a serious manner subjects which need to be covered. As Inspector Callahan said, "a man's gotta know his limitations".

    1. I finished it last week and have the draft of the review queued up. Like his other one, this one dares you to not recommend it, but I am always willing to overlook flaws when there's original value in the work.

    2. As always, I look forward to the review. I certainly don't disagree with your philosophy. I simply wish that where an author can make a contribution, he/she demonstrate an understanding that a good editor can turn a B-rated product into an A. It shouldn't be require "work" by the reader to acquire valuable information.

    3. Me too. It certainly doesn't help inexperienced authors that the current publishing environment leaves them (apparently) with so much of the editing, marketing, mapping, indexing, etc. duties. I alternately laugh and cringe when I see authors thank multiple people in the Acknowledgments for editing help when the final manuscript reads somewhere between a first draft and an early galley.


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