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 Posted: Mon Nov 10th, 2008 12:22 am
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samhood
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The cut-and-paste histriography that I accuse Sword of isn't taking only selected material from earlier TN Campaign authors, but from the historical records...the Official Records, and memoirs and diaries of veterans. Without exception, Sword WILL NOT include any testimony or documentation supportive of Hood in his books. 

However, speaking of earlier authors, I've read all the books on the TN Campaign in sequence, starting with Thomas Hay, then Stanley Horn, then Thomas Connelly, and then Sword (and Groom, which was published around the same time.)  From Hay through Horn, each book treats Hood increasingly harsher, or you could say, decreasingly respectful. In my opinion the reason was that each author had to give some differing presentation and interpretation on the previous books, all written from essentually the same set of historical records.

As I said in my earlier post, I have no problem with Hood's generalship being criticized, which is what Hay and Horn did.  Connelly took some relatively mild shots at Hood's character, but Sword went overboard, calling Hood the child "an ill-mannered hellion"; Hood the West Point cadet as managing to "prod and squirm his way" through school; Hood the army commander as "a fool with a license to kill his own men" and Hood the postwar father as having sired a large family solely to prove to the world that he was no "lame lover" due to his war wounds. Is this historiography?

The cut-and-paste scholarship that Sword engages in and to which I alluded is undeniable and a matter of fact.  On many occasions Sword takes excerpts and testimony from a specific memoirist, uses a comment to support one of his (Sword's)unflattering assertions, when elsewhere in the memoir are comments counter to Sword's negative assertion, which he conceals from the reader. Hay, Horn and Connelly did not engage in this conduct.

Here is my opinion...and it is just an opinion. Sword wanted to write a book on the TN Campaign, and since several earlier books had been written on the subject, he had to come up with some new twist...his own schtik. So what he decided was to fabricate a story of a conniving, treacherous, drug addicted, lovelorn, megalomaniacal commander who, denied the glory of an undeserved victory, slaughtered his own troops in a fit of rage. What Sword did was basically write a historical novel, much like the 1990s mega-hit movie "Titanic" where a sappy fictional love story was blended with a tragic historic event, resulting in a commercial blockbuster.

Now fully invested professionally in the desecration of John Bell Hood's legacy, Wiley Sword is seemingly sticking to his story, come hell or high water. But he has painted himself into a corner, and the more material he writes like the Hood essay in Courage Under Fire, the more he exposes himself as a compromised historian.  

Last edited on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 02:12 pm by samhood



 Posted: Mon Nov 10th, 2008 01:11 am
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samhood
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Last edited on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 01:13 am by samhood



 Posted: Sun Nov 23rd, 2008 11:37 pm
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The Iron Duke
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Mr. Biggenbottom,

Could you elaborate more on Jack Davis's misleading expertise? Thanks.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 02:12 am
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bschulte
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izzy wrote: I have Sword's, The Confederacy's Last Hurrah.  I have never read it.  In fact it is still in its plastic wrap.  What to do now?  Is there any reason to read it?  Should I order Jacobson's book instead and throw Sword's in the trash?  Are there any other books on the subject that you recommend reading on the subject?
izzy,

As others have said, you should definitely read it and compare it to some of the other books out there on the campaign.  This is an interesting topic, and one which has come up before.  Several years ago I decided to take a look at how Sword's book and Eric Jacobson's For Cause and for Country described the same situations in a multi-part blog entry.  I don't want to give away all that I found but it suffices to say that Sword seems to take the most anti-Hood approach he can at all times.

Last edited on Wed Jan 28th, 2009 02:13 am by bschulte



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 01:45 pm
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samhood
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Brett:

Great to hear from you again. Your late, great Civil War Top 100 web sites feature and your book reviews were simply outstanding.

Have you had an opportunity to read my expose' on Sword's Hood essay in "Courage Under Fire" at http://swordexposed.com/ ? Let me know what you think if you don't mind.

How Sword can sleep ay night is a mystery to me. He is compulsively obsessed with Hood to the point where he is sacrificing his own credibility and career in his Capt. Ahab-like obsession to destroy Hood's reputation. I suppose he is fully invested in his manufactured Hood-demonization so he is sticking to his guns, although at this point it's doing more damage to his own reputation than Hood's...IMHO. 

Sam  



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 02:24 pm
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bschulte
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samhood wrote: Brett:

Great to hear from you again. Your late, great Civil War Top 100 web sites feature and your book reviews were simply outstanding.

Have you had an opportunity to read my expose' on Sword's Hood essay in "Courage Under Fire" at http://swordexposed.com/ ? Let me know what you think if you don't mind.

How Sword can sleep ay night is a mystery to me. He is compulsively obsessed with Hood to the point where he is sacrificing his own credibility and career in his Capt. Ahab-like obsession to destroy Hood's reputation. I suppose he is fully invested in his manufactured Hood-demonization so he is sticking to his guns, although at this point it's doing more damage to his own reputation than Hood's...IMHO. 

Sam  

Sam,

The Civil War Top 100 lives on, now maintained by Chris Wehner.  I'm also getting back into the swing of things with the book reviews after taking several months off after the birth of my son in November. 

I have not yet had an opportunity to read your thoughts on Sword's latest, but I'll defintely get to it here soon.  I also will be buying Courage Under Fire.  I smell another blog entry or two coming... 



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