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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 02:39 pm
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ole
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Recently bought a short stack of really cheap "on sale" books. This is one of them. By Geoffrey Perrett, it concentrates on Lincoln and his boo-boos and brilliance as the war developed and ground on. For that coverage, and that alone, this book doesn't hit the garage sale or the AmVets box.

Perrett has an annoying habit of using highly descriptive but obscure adjectives requiring a dictionary close by. For example, try "syncretic." True, one can ignore the word without losing the meaning, but the flaunting of vocabulary is distracting,  annoying and, if you habitually look up new words, removing the book from the easy-read category.

When Perrett tells of what is going on in the field (background for Lincoln's recorded thoughts and actions), he is generally, factually unreliable. He has the secesh siezing the federal arsenal in St. Louis, Buford armed with Sharps carbines, Sherman facing Hood at Kennesaw Mountain,  Grant siezing Chattanooga from Bragg. Again, this is back history and doesn't substantively detract from his study of Lincoln, his war presidency, adapatation of thought, back room struggles, and such -- which quite often provided insight and situations of which I was previously unaware. So there was for me some value in the book.

There are quite likely better single-source studies of Lincoln as commander-in-chief, but this one does provide an interesting look at the man.

Ole



 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 05:38 pm
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calcav
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Grant siezing Chattanooga from Bragg
Ole,

You convinved me not to get the book, but I might have to agree with Perrett on that one.

Tom



 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 06:03 pm
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13PA
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Buford armed with Sharps carbines,

Buford was armed with Sharps carbines.



 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 09:50 pm
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CleburneFan
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Ole, with so many factual errors in the book, how can you be certain that anything else in the book is accurate? Gotta love that word "syncretic." I'm trying to figure out how I can use it in my every day life without sounding as if I am "flaunting vocabulary." Guess I won't use it because I'm not really sure what it means.:?

Ole, your report on Perrett's book makes me wonder which book is considered to be the single best, most authoritative, most readable volume on the presidency of this man? I wonder if David McCullough has ever considered writing a definitive study of Lincoln.

Last edited on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 09:50 pm by CleburneFan



 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 10:14 pm
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Widow
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Ole, Have you read Doris Kearns Goodwin Pulitzer winner, Team of Rivals?  By far the best study of Lincoln's political journey, as well as of Cameron, Chase, Seward, and Bates.  He beat them all for the Republican nomination, then put them in his cabinet.  The better to keep an eye on you, my dear.

Not much about the military aspects of the war.  She is a superb writer who doesn't need to use syncretic to impress.  Patty



 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2007 12:47 am
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Cap
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C-Fan,

I read just about anything I can find on Lincoln. The best I have read so far is David Herbert Donald's "Lincoln".  It was one of those books I wouldn't mind reading again someday........if I ever catch up and get the extra time.

Cap

 



 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2007 01:26 am
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ole
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Buford was armed with Sharps carbines.

Sorry about that. Perrett said "Spencers." My proofing finger slipped.

You convinved me not to get the book, but I might have to agree with Perrett on that one.

I was afraid of that. Seems to me that Chattanooga was in Union hands and Bragg was threatening it.  You have a different reading of the situation?

how can you be certain that anything else in the book is accurate?

Can't, actually. But he footnoted the important parts and used impressive sources.

Cap: Everyone I've talked to raves about "Team of Rivals." It's in my next-in-line stack.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2007 09:58 am
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susansweet
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I have Team of Rivals .  I saw Kearns speak at the Nixon Library when the book came out .  She is a terrific speaker .  She also has a book on her experiences with her father going to Dodger games as a little girl.  Supose to be a really good book.

I have the Lincoln book on the to be read shelf But my friend that went with me read it right away and said it was outstanding. 

Another good author that has nothing to do with Lincoln but one of the books I am reading right now is Battle on the Bay by Edward T Cotham.  I have this book and another one about the Batle of Sabine Pass.  I heard Ed speak last year at West Coast Civil War Round Table conference. He has a great way of writing and speaking that has a sense of humor with it.  He is local to Texas- Galveston area.  Very active in Civil War activities there.  He has been printed in North South. 

This is my car book , the book I carry in my car incase I need something to read.  So it is taking me a while to read it but each time I do I am tempted to bring it in the hosue to just sit down and finish. 

My house book and number one to get read now is First Lady of the Confederacy about Varina Davis.  Also a very good easy to read book.  I was sneaky I wanted to read it and soon so I talked the book group at the Drum Barracks into reading it this month.  Also talked them into reading Craig Symonds Joe Johnston for later on this year. 
:D Susan 
 

Last edited on Wed Jan 24th, 2007 10:00 am by susansweet



 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2007 03:27 pm
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calcav
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Ole,

I guess I could have picked my words better. It is my opinion that Rosecrans had effectively lost the city or, rather, Bragg had control of Chattanooga though his men had yet to occupy the courthouse square. Rosy’s supply line was in tatters, his men and animals starving and he was only a week or two from going under. Grant had to seize control of the city back from Bragg which he did quite effectively thanks to the Army of the Cumberland (pretty good fighters after they were given a decent meal). They ran Braxton out of the suburbs and into Georgia.

 

Tom



 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2007 11:11 pm
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ole
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Tom:

Works for me. It was for that reason I hesitated to include the example because there was some merit to it. But he did say, to the effect, that Grant had to take Chattanooga from Bragg. Looking at it your way, that could be implied but is not strictly as written.

I enjoyed to book and did not mean to discourage anyone from reading it. There was much good insight in it, given that his facts and vocabulary distracted from the meat: Lincoln's development from a bumbling CnC to an highly notable war president. At 8 bucks (Hamilton Books), I read it all the way through in a week. (I never finish books that provide nothing new.)

Ole:(



 Posted: Thu Jan 25th, 2007 12:23 am
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susansweet
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Ole, afer telling you that I had spent my book budget this month I just got a coupon from Dover publications.  That and free shipping got me in real trouble today.  I am so bad.  I ordered a bunch of books.  Mostly Civil War .  I got a clipping book with cd rom to use with Newletter I put out for our Round table here in Orange Country.  I also ordered some Stephan Crane and Ambrose Bierce that I don't have .  Kate Chopin short stories  Civil War poetry , and ca couple of phot and etching books.  AND WIdow I took you lead and order Riders of the Purple Sage.   Their books are so inexpensive and some were on sale and the 10 dollars off and free shipping and I spent 50 dollars for 60 dolalrs worth of books and have 15 some books coming . Going to re organize the shelves again.  It is an addiction I tell ya.  But better than some others I can think of. 

I have never read Kate Chopin but I thought it was time.

Susan



 Posted: Thu Jan 25th, 2007 04:36 am
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ole
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Miss Susan:

I know the feeling. At the moment, there are about 78 feet of books on the Civil War. I wish I could say I've read 1/4 of them -- I'm working on it, but somehow there is another post that recommends a book and I'm obliged to check it out. There is no end to it.

Ole 



 Posted: Thu Jan 25th, 2007 05:16 am
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susansweet
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Ole exactly , that's how I feel . 



 Posted: Thu Jan 25th, 2007 02:36 pm
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HankC
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Any history book worth it's salt presents analysis based on the facts at hand, or at least those presented. Unluckily some choose to cherry-pick facts that support a pre-arranged analysis (or dogma?). DiLorenzo comes to mind, seeing only the moss in a stand of redwoods...

Perret's case is a different sort. Are the (incorrect) facts germane to the analysis? Does correcting the facts change the analysis?

If not, why are they included in the first place?

HankC



 Posted: Thu Jan 25th, 2007 06:36 pm
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ole
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Hank:

That was a point I had hoped to make. The booboos were not gemaine to the subject -- they were simply distractions. His subject was Lincoln's development and performance as a CnC. Sherman fighting Hood at Kennesaw Mountain or Buford using Spencers were extraneous to his examination and served only to establish a point in the timeline.

Ole



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