View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 08:05 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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To quote a member of this board who shall remain anonymous, "Geez."

Being a little harsh on the boy, no?

"I wonder, if he weren't writing about slavery, could he write about anything at all?

Hmm, let's see.

1. 'For Cause and Comrade: Why Men Fought in the Civil War' (1998) is a nice, insightful look at what caused men to continue fighting despite killing themselves in the hundreds of thousands. Think this book also won the Lincoln Prize.

2. 'Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam' (2004) examines why the Battle of Antietam was a pivotal moment in the Civil War as well as the nation's history.

3.'Drawn With the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War' (1997) is a collection of essays looking at various issues about the war. The last chapter is a neat one entitled 'What's the Matter with History?' where he questions the direction in which modern narrative history is heading.

4. 'Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution' (1992) looks at Lincoln as commander in chief as well as communicator, the slew of new laws passed in his administration and the consequences of the war on the south.

5. 'This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War' (2007) is another collection of essays, including one of Lincoln's use of presidential war powers, which seems somehow timely. There's also a short chapter on Jesse James.

6. 'Battle Cry of Freedom' (1988). All you have to say here is Pulitzer Prize. Unless, of course, you want to start a movement to revoke it. Good luck.

These are his books in my library and not one puts its entire focus on slavery. I guess he can handle more than just the slavery issue.

Sociologist or historian? Splitting hairs. What does it matter as long as his body of work has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the war, or given us cause to look at the war with different perspectives? I've never heard him call himself a historian. He' been introduced as a historian, he taught history at Princeton, he won his Pulitzer for history, so I'll go with the flow on that one. 'Battle Cry of Freedom' is generally regarded as his seminal work that brought a scholarly look at the war to the masses in a way most other authors have not.

One synonym for cliche is 'truism.' Another is 'maxim.' Sometimes a cliche, no matter how tired or trite, is all that is really needed to make a point anyway.

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