Book of the Week


The Ordeal of the Reunion: A New History of Reconstruction
by Mark Wahlgren Summers

“Effectively captures the turmoil and frustrations of the era. . . . [and] shows how economic woes affected Reconstruction’s prospects.”
--Publishers Weekly
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Excerpt: Kennesaw Mountain, by Earl J. Hess

Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign, by Earl J. Hess

The assault of June 27 was a significant departure from Sherman’s mode of operations during the Atlanta campaign. […]

Excerpt: Two Captains from Carolina, by Bland Simpson

In an excerpt from Bland Simpson’s nonfiction novel Two Captains from Carolina, we get a glimpse of Moses Grandy’s early career as a boatman—the freedom he felt on the water and the opportunities that lay ahead. […]

Excerpt: The Fire of Freedom, by David S. Cecelski

In years to come, he would gain a wider reputation as a moving, eloquent speaker and a fierce debater. But at no time of his life was he a more effective orator than in those first months of freedom on the North Carolina coast. The prodigal ex-slave was always at his best among other former slaves. […]

Excerpt: War on the Waters, by James M. McPherson

McPherson discusses the blockade on the Confederacy and how if affected the definition of the Confederacy as insurrectionist or a legitimate nation. […]

Excerpt: With a Sword in One Hand and Jomini in the Other, by Carol Reardon

Military theory is an intellectually sophisticated and complex form of cultural expression. At the start of the Civil War, the U.S. Army and the people it defended barely had begun to demonstrate an interest in developing a capacity to think about war as an element of national life. They had done little to institutionalize such study. As a consequence, when the Civil War broke out, Northerners had few resources to turn to for insights on an American way of war, and they had no choice but to look to the military classics from across a cultural divide for the intellectual authority they sought. […]