Saturday 6 July 2013
Photo, above: The journey along the Mississippi river from Napoleon, on the Arkansas shore, to Vicksburg, the largest town in the State of Mississippi, discloses naught save vast and gloomy stretches of forest and flat, of swamp and inlet, of broad current and green island, until Columbia, a pretty town on the Arkansas side, is passed. Below Columbia the banks of the river are lined with cotton plantations for more than one hundred and fifty miles.
Vicksburg, the tried and troubled hill city, her crumbling bluffs still filled with historic memorials of one of the most desperate sieges and defences of modern times, rises in quite imposing fashion from the Mississippi’s banks, in a loop in the river made by a long delta, which at high water is nearly submerged. The bluffs run back some distance to an elevated plateau. In the upper streets are many handsome residences.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Goodheart, a historian and journalist who will be writing a column on the Civil War for the New York Times online, makes sophisticated use of a broad spectrum of sources for an evocative reinterpretation of the Civil War's beginnings. Wanting to retrieve the war from recent critics who dismiss the importance of slavery in the Union's aims, he reframes the war as "not just a Southern rebellion but a nationwide revolution" to free the country of slavery and end paralyzing attempts to compromise over it. The revolution began long before the war's first shots were fired. But it worked on the minds and hearts of average whites and blacks, slaves and free men. By 1861 it had attained an irresistible momentum. Goodheart shifts focus away from the power centers of Washington and Charleston to look at the actions and reactions of citizens from Boston to New York City, from Hampton Roads, Va., to St. Louis, Mo., and San Francisco, emphasizing the cultural, rather than military, clash between those wanting the country to move forward and those clinging to the old ways. War would be waged for four bitter years, with enduring seriousness, intensity, and great heroism, Goodheart emphasizes. 15 illus.
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: 1861: The Civil War Awakening (Vintage) by Adam Goodheart; 2 of 2 “Goodheart shows us that even at 150 years’ distance there are new voices, and new stories, to be heard about the Civil War, and that together they can have real meaning. . . . He takes what is known, breaks it down to its elemental parts and rearranges it, giving us a different view entirely of something we thought we understood entirely.” —The Boston Globe
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz; 1 of 2
Horwitz’s skills are a good match for this enormously compelling character, and his well-paced narrative incorporates masterful sketches of Brown’s family, foot soldiers, financial backers, admirers and prosecutors… The result is both page-turning and heartbreaking—a book to engage mind and soul."—The Boston Globe
"Horwitz, an exceptionally skilled and accomplished journalist, here turns his hand to pure history with admirable results. Midnight Rising is smoothly written, thoroughly researched, places Brown within the context of his time and place, and treats him sensitively but scarcely adoringly."—The Washington Post(Best of 2011, Notable Work of Nonfiction)
"Midnight Rising is a richly detailed and engaging history… Horwitz’s moment-by-moment account of the doomed raid unfolds with such immediacy that he reintroduces suspense to a story we all know from textbooks."—The San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz; 2 of 2 "Gripping, disturbing and heartbreaking... Horwitz brings all his gifts of character building and storytelling to Brown’s rise and self-promotion… Horwitz’s Brown did not die in vain. By recalling the drama that fired the imagination and fears of Brown’s time, Midnight Rising calls readers to account for complacency about social injustices today. This is a book for our time."—Library Journal (a Top Ten Book of the Year, 2011)
"Lucid and compelling… The author’s archival sleuthing pays off with a rich narrative."—Kirkus Reviews
"[Horwitz’s] vivid biographical portrait of Brown gives us an American original: a failed businessman and harsh Calvinist with a soft spot for the oppressed and a murderous animus against oppressors… Brown’s raiders—a motley crew of his sons and various idealists, adventurers, freedmen, and fugitive slaves—come alive as a romantic, appealing bunch; their agonizing deaths give Horwitz’s excellent narrative of the raid and shootout a deep pathos."—Publishers Weekly
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest--Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga by Jack Hurst; 1 of 4 John F. Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Mississippi State University, and Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association
“Not all readers will agree with everything Jack Hurst says, but they will find the argument intriguing that a commoner won the Civil War because his side gave him the chance, while the Confederacy lost because it kept its most talented commoner at arm's length.”
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: ): Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest--Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga by Jack Hurst; 2 of 4
Publishers Weekly “Making sophisticated use of archival and printed sources, Hurst maintains that the marginalization of Forrest, a blacksmith’s son, by a Confederacy insisting on ‘blue-blood leadership’ was ‘a chief cause of the Confederacy’s death.’ The Union, by contrast, made effective use of the equally lowborn and unpolished Grant. Both, Hurst asserts, exemplified the common men who did most of the war’s dying. Both understood what soldiers could do in particular situations. And both were accustomed by peacetime hardship to the fears and anxieties of wartime command. The comparison…is original and provocative.”
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: . Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest--Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga by Jack Hurst; 3 of 4
“Born to Battle is smoothly readable, packed with details of battles from contemporary sources…. It makes clear that much of the difference between [Grant and Forrest] was the smooth way Grant got past bad supervision and rivals, and the dyspeptic bad temper that kept Forrest from rising higher.”
Charleston Post & Courier
“Hurst’s writing style has an easy story like quality to it…. Readers will appreciate the work. They also will appreciate that it is a subject treated with a unique perspective on these two soldiers and their rise to prominence in the western theater of the Civil War.”
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest--Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga by Jack Hurst; 4 of 4 Ernest B. Furgurson, author of Chancellorsville 1863 and Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864 “In a finely wrought battle narrative and character study, Jack Hurst shows how two men seemingly so different—one flamboyant and daring, the other solid and determined—became great soldiers by struggling not only against their enemies, but against their own inner demons.”
Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country
“It is rare indeed to have a writer like Jack Hurst, both a careful and meticulous historian and a first-rate storyteller. Born to Battle is what Jack Hurst does best. Drawing on many years of examination and research, Hurst has laid out the details of history as if he were crafting an epic myth. Grant and Forrest come alive as they take on the roles of the very human giants of the war, battling through the western campaign in what would be the death knell of the Confederacy. Hurst’s epic tale of history gives us a better understanding of why the war would be won or lost far from borders of Virginia.”
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War by Amanda Foreman; 1 of 4
In this brilliant narrative, Amanda Foreman tells the fascinating story of the American Civil War—and the major role played by Britain and its citizens in that epic struggle. Between 1861 and 1865, thousands of British citizens volunteered for service on both sides of the Civil War. From the first cannon blasts on Fort Sumter to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, they served as officers and infantrymen, sailors and nurses, blockade runners and spies. Through personal letters, diaries, and journals, Foreman introduces characters both humble and grand, while crafting a panoramic yet intimate view of the war on the front lines, in the prison camps, and in the great cities of both the Union and the Confederacy. In the drawing rooms of London and the offices of Washington, on muddy fields and aboard packed ships, Foreman reveals the decisions made, the beliefs held and contested, and the personal triumphs and sacrifices that ultimately led to the reunification of America.
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War by Amanda Foreman; 2 of 4
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War by Amanda Foreman; 3 of 4
Amanda Foreman is the author of the award-winning best seller, 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' (HarperCollins UK; Random House US), and 'A World on Fire: A Epic History of Two Nations Divided' (Allen Lane UK; Random House US). She lives in New York with her husband and five children. She is the daughter of Carl Foreman, the Oscar-winning screen writer of many film classics including The Bridge on the River Kwai, High Noon, and The Guns of Navarone. Amanda was born in London, brought up in Los Angeles, and educated in England. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York. She received her doctorate in Eighteenth-Century British History from Oxford University in 1998. 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' was a number one best seller in England, and best seller for many weeks in the United States. It has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Hungarian, Romanian, Croatian, Turkish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese. The book was nominated for several awards and won the Whitbread Prize for Best Biography in 1999. It has inspired a television documentary, a radio play starring Dame Judi Dench; and a movie, titled 'The Duchess', starring Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes. In addition to regularly writing and reviewing for newspapers and magazines, Amanda Foreman has also served on a number of juries including The Orange Prize, the Guardian First Book Prize and the National Book Awards. 'A World on Fire' has been optioned by BBC Worldwide.
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War by Amanda Foreman; 4 of 4
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: THE CAMPAIGNS FOR VICKSBURG, 1862-63: Leadership Lessons by Kevin Dougherty; 1 of 2
"... written in a clear and lucid style... definitely about Leadership. And therefore I would recommend it as such; the fact that the lessons are based on a fascinating part of a well known conflict is a bonus to those of us whose interests span the fields of military issue and personal self improvement!"Wargamer.com"Dougherty offers a thorough campaign history, a basic background to Civil War era military structure, and 30 instructional leadership vignettes. This not only familiarizes readers with the 'brilliant campaign of maneuver,' but also highlights the campaign's many leadership lessons. . . . By presenting the Vicksburg Campaign in concise accounts and incorporating useful takeaways, Dougherty's work offers a clear decision-making guide and campaign history."-Military Review (United States Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS)"...far exceeds any other summary of similar length... well-written and useful to a wide variety of readers... cadets and midshipmen will garner a number of ideas and techniques to add to their own leadership toolboxes." Civil War Book Review "Five stars plus!.. a valuable addition to the study of leadership and Vicksburg. It would be an excellent study for business leaders as well as the professional officer and soldier. I recommend its addition to the personal library of all students of military science. My hope is it would be included in the reading lists of the officer basic or advanced courses. As in "Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun", the lessons presented in "The Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862-63: Leadership Lessons" are timeless. Kepler's Military History
Saturday 6 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: THE CAMPAIGNS FOR VICKSBURG, 1862-63: Leadership Lessons by Kevin Dougherty; 2 of 2
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