Monday, May 2, 2016

Booknotes: Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries

New Arrival:
Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries by Dennis L. Peterson (McFarland, 2016).

According to author Dennis Peterson, the last serious study of the Confederate cabinet was published way back in 1944, so we are overdue for an update of the scholarship. The first chapter discusses President Davis's secretary selection process. "Drawing on scholarship old and new," the roles and duties of each of the cabinet level departments (Justice, Treasury, War, Navy, Post Office, and State) are examined in turn, including the many bureaus and other subordinate organizations. Turnover at the top was common, and chapter length profiles of the eighteen men in total that would lead these departments at some time during the war are also included.

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