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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Book News: A Burned Land

That's the way it works. No survey history of the war west of the Mississippi is penned since the end of the conflict itself and then suddenly we get two published within eighteen months of each other. My thoughts on Theater of a Separate War are unchanged (and it looks like Amazon is practically giving away copies at the moment for some reason), but others continue to see it in a much more positive light.

This coming October, McFarland will publish Robert Laven's A Burned Land: The Trans-Mississippi in the Civil War (2018). The official description is pretty coy about the contents, but it does suggest that the actual focus will be much narrower than Cutrer's theater-wide treatment. While the title implies a comprehensive study, the estimated page count is rather slim at less than 150 and only Missouri and Kansas are mentioned in the description. The author is a retired Defense Department intelligence analyst and that perspective might color the analysis in different and interesting ways.

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