JDB Communications, LLC, is pleased to announce the availability of a new edition of Essays on the American Civil War by John D. Beatty in paperback and PDF at The Book Patch, while the first edition in Kindle will still be available for a limited time. From the Introduction:
The American Civil War (even the way it is written: always capital “C,” capital “W”) sits isolated in a pristine crystal dome of American history, separate from all other events. There are certain ways to write about it that make it acceptable to Civil War scholars and their audiences, and these rules must be observed else the offending material will be relegated to the isle of broken essays.
As the “Forlorn Hope” essay explains, American treatment of the 1861-65 conflict is always an exception to every rule of writing history, and American writers at all levels treat it as their private preserve. Parallels with any other conflict are impossible for many Civil War buffs and not a few scholars, as are ties with any other non-American conflict. Suggestions that the economic and political issues not related to slavery were eerily similar to those surfacing during the Tudor and Stuart periods in England—and may actually be connected—were dismissed with derision, ridicule, and often, suggestions of racism on those heretics with such insolent ideas.
How casualties were created should be a no-brainer, but as “The Butcher’s Bill” explains, for 19th century warfare that just ain’t so. The mechanics of cavalry, too, should be obvious, but as “Cavalry in Blue and Gray” shows, it’s a lot harder when there was no real need for it in its wartime form before the war.
The distinct and contrarian position in some of these essays is unacceptable to “mainstream” Civil War scholarship: Civil War battlefield presentation isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, as “Of Parks and Excuses” explains; the Southern Confederacy, always a “Forlorn Hope,” could not have gotten what she wanted by military means. Grant and Lee’s legacy to history is both more and less than many want to think, as “Bigger than History” explains.
Finally, “The Turning Point” and “The Unknown Gettysburg” are, again, my attempts at jousting with the immortal dragon that is Gettysburg. That one fight in Pennsylvania has so much emotional baggage attached to it that…well, it’s a tempting target.
Essays on the American Civil War retails at $4.99 in paperback, $1.99 in PDF exclusively at The Book Patch.