Posts in Book Reviews
I Don't Think He Was Joking...Review of The Million Dollar Man Who Helped Kill a President

I read this book straight through with increased interest at every turn of the page…and I don’t want to spoil the intricacies of the ending. Let’s just say that Gayle used the “I was just kidding” defense and well…he was not among those on the gallows when justice was finally served...so go figure.

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A Comprehensive Curriculum Guide for The War Outside My Window

The questions and other activities in this comprehensive guide are challenging to be sure, but what better way is there to teach the Civil War than by challenging students to think about perspective and to negotiate some of the more uncomfortable issues with primary sources?

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Kevin Levin Challenges a Persistent Myth

Levin traces the history of the black Confederate myth that winds down a Lost Cause path to the late-19th century and the faithful slave narrative. Monuments to faithful “servants” (a popular euphemism for slave) and black Confederate “mascots” in Rebel gray at reunions populate the early story - and Levin deftly explains their presence and usefulness to the postwar construction of the Lost Cause myth.

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Jeffry Wert Finds Victory Behind the Lines in Civil War Barons

Jeffry Wert’s Isoroku Yamamoto-esque “sleeping giant” metaphor certainly works, but only because he couples it with a review of the individuals who had the determination and the foresight to use what they had before them.

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Emancipating Lincoln - Holzer Hits the Mark

Holzer’s analysis illustrates Lincoln’s political cunning, intentional obfuscation, and deliberate planting of information in order to finesse the notion of emancipation for an uneasy citizenry. Emancipating Lincoln offers some surprising conclusions, suggesting that Lincoln’s image as emancipator was longer coming than we might have previously imagined. 

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The War Outside My Window - A Review

Readers interested in the war narrative as understood through the mind of a young man behind the lines will find Janet Elizabeth Croon’s editing accomplishments worthy of celebration. Her exhaustive work helps the reader negotiate the many obstacles that emerge from Gresham’s pen as fact, rumor, and pure misinformation.

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