David Blight on Frederick Douglass »

David Blight’s voice has become very familiar to me – I listened to his entire Yale iTunes U course on the Civil War, and have sought out his podcast appearances since then. This is the first time I’ve seen him speak, and this brief clip from a 2009 interview beautifully summarises Douglass’ life. By all […]

Political Violence »

Mother Jones interviews Joanne Freeman, author of The Field of Blood, examining physical violence in Congress in the run-up to the Civil War. If the book is as fun as the interview, it promises to be a rollicking read! That’s a great example both of the performative aspect of it and the ways in which it’s […]

Marszalek in NYC »

Are any of my readers from the Big Apple? If so, I wish to live vicariously through you this week, when John Marszalek is visiting and presenting at two separate events. Marszalek is the author of the wonderful Sherman biography, as well as books on Halleck, Grant and Lincoln. I’ve heard him speak at iTunes […]

Tony Kushner and Sarah Vowell »

Kudos to Andrea Simakis for providing this very extensive recounting of a recent talk by two unusual Lincoln biographers: The Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner, and the hipster historian Sarah Vowell, author of the hilarious and weird, Assassination Vacation. I’m hoping to find some video from this event, but if that fails at least I have […]

A Few of My Favourite Things »

I responded to a Reddit user’s call for Civil War book suggestions, and it occurred to me that – in this time of gift buying and giving – I could cross post my list here. In no particular order, I give you: * Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering deals with the mass death […]

American Ulysses »

There’s a new Grant biography for us all to enjoy. American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant is here reviewed very favourably by the Chicago Tribune. Given the fuss and fury of this year’s election campaign, it might be nice to spend 850 pages immersed in the company of a genuinely nice man. (Though […]

Clyde Built »

I was lucky enough last summer to be able to accompany the ACWRTUK on their field trip to Cherbourg.  The London round table was dauntingly well read and many of the members had a depth of knowledge that I felt would translate well to books. Turns out one of the members has written a book, […]

Book review: Marching Home »

A new book deals with a subject I’ve been musing on lately: The effects of the war on the social life of postbellum America.  Millions of men coming home – some with severe physical and emotional scars – to a world that was profoundly changed.  This one sounds like a good read. Jordan’s handling of civilian […]

Weekly Recap: Feb 3 »

Weekly Recap: Feb 3 Here’s a recap of last week’s Civil War Podcast blog topics, and suggested readings for further study. Post: When the South Wasn’t a Fan of States’ Rights In late 1860 and early 1861, state-appointed commissioners traveled the length and breadth of the slave South carrying a fervent message in pursuit of […]

Weekly Recap: Jan 27 »

Weekly Recap: Jan 27 Here’s a recap of last week’s Civil War Podcast blog topics, and suggested readings for further study.   Post: Southern Unionist Strongholds The State of Jones The State of Jones is a true story about the South during the Civil War—the real South. Not the South that has been mythologized in […]