Wednesday, March 21, 2007

This Mighty Scourge

Bob Casey is the director of the Antietam National Battlefield Museum Store, a first-class and first-rate organization. Yesterday, Bob asked if I would be interested in reading Dr. James McPherson's new book, This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War and then let him know what I thought of the work. Of course I said I would be glad to.
I have long admired Dr. McPherson's work, and consider him to be the nation's finest Civil War historian, and after reading This Mighty Scourge, I am further convinced that he is so. The book is a collection of essays that examine not only the war, but the ways in which it has been remembered over the years. It is very-well written and easy to understand, and his perspectives are certainly persuasive. Dr. McPherson excels in helping bridge the gap that exists between the realms of academic and public history, making his works excellent for both the beginner and the war's most avid students. In This Mighty Scourge, McPherson examines the big issues, i.e. what brought on the war, and what led the Confederacy's collapse, among many other topics. At the same time, he discusses some interesting ways in which the war has been remembered and why it is, for example, that in some quarters Jesse James is seen as a hero and John Brown a villian.
I sung the praises of this book to Bob today, and most highly recommend it to anyone interested not only in the history of the Civil War, but in the history of the United States as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Season Premier
It’s fall 2007 and time again for another episode of “Let’s Kick the Southerners: or, Did I Mention I Was Right the First Time?” based on the book This Mighty Scourge.
Forget that the northern slave traders made a killing off the slave trade without any scruples or ethical concerns. Forget that northern soldiers didn’t want to fight alongside their black compatriots. Forget that the worst race riots in our nation’s history were in the north. Forget that Southern women held “The Cause” in higher regard than the lives of their own sons. Forget that the war was one of attrition and superior northern technology.
Forget all these things as northern historians jockey for position to slam the South into submission once again. The same cast of characters and plots return for another fun-filled season of Southern stupidity and bigotry. Directed by Ken Burns.