Tuesday, December 13, 2022

2022 Year in Review - Five Honorable Mentions

Back in 2019 I reluctantly pared down my year-end list from a pretty expansive category-based one to a more simplified Top Ten, and since then it hasn't been too terribly difficult to settle on ten overarching favorites. However, this year I came up with fifteen titles that I really didn't want to whittle down any further. So instead of just dropping a random handful into the ether, this year I'll supplement the Top Ten with a short list of Honorable Mentions.

The Heart of Hell: The Soldiers' Struggle for Spotsylvania's Bloody Angle by Jeffry Wert (UNC Press, 2022).

Providing an excellent new blow-by-blow account of the most intense fighting at Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864, Wert's study is even more remarkable for the powerful manner in which it exposes all facets and horrors of face-to-face Civil War combat [see the full 7/15/22 Review].

Early Struggles for Vicksburg: The Mississippi Central Campaign and Chickasaw Bayou, October 25-December 31, 1862 by Timothy Smith (UP of Kansas, 2022).

This study, the latest volume in Timothy Smith's masterful Vicksburg Campaign series, recounts in unmatched depth both major movements involved in the late-1862 Union advance on Vicksburg [see the full 9/15/22 Review].

Engineering in the Confederate Heartland by Larry Daniel (LSU Press, 2022)

Of course, Union land and inland naval forces eventually steamrolled the Confederacy's western defenses, but Daniel's study is a uniquely comprehensive history of the critical role played by Confederate engineers in both assisting southern armies and slowing the process of their defeat. Along the way, Daniel strongly argues that the Confederate West's engineering talent pool was much deeper than commonly believed [see the full 10/12/22 Review].

True Blue: White Unionists in the Deep South during the Civil War and Reconstruction by Clayton Butler (LSU Press, 2022).

Butler brilliantly weaves a study of three southern-raised white Union regiments into a broad-themed investigation of the contributions of Southern Unionists to Union military victory and the prominent leadership role such veterans assumed during the Reconstruction-era South [see the full 6/15/22 Review].

Illusions of Empire: The Civil War and Reconstruction in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by William Kiser (UPenn Press, 2022).

Through his authorship of a deeply impressive bevy of scholastically profitable studies of the Civil War-era American Southwest, Kiser has rapidly earned a reputation as one of the top historians of the region and period.  Though slim in size, this latest book provides the best single-volume portrait of the coexisting spirit of cooperation and antagonism present along the length of the US-Mexico border during the Civil War and Reconstruction years [see the full 2/23/22 Review].

*** See 2022 "Book of the Year" and Top Ten ***

No comments:

Post a Comment

***PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING***: You must SIGN YOUR NAME when submitting your comment. In order to maintain civil discourse and ease moderating duties, anonymous comments will be deleted. Comments containing outside promotions and/or product links will also be removed. Thank you for your cooperation.