America’s Civil War March 2008

9 01 2008


acw-march-08.jpgThe March issue of America’s Civil War has hit the stands, and I picked up my copy yesterday.  There’s an interesting piece by Rob Hodge on his life after Confederates in the Attic (Rob is the “bloater” featured on the cover of Tony Horwitz’s book), as well as some cool wet-plate photos of reenactors on the cover and inside.

Also in this issue are my first book reviews – you will find them at the end of the reviews section under In Brief.  I found writing these reviews, which are based on a cursory exam of the books in question, challenging.  I eventually read in full Ed Steers, Jr.’s Lincoln Legends and liked it a lot.  There was a fourth book I was assigned to review, but it was really not up to snuff (in my opinion) – it got some Bull Run stuff flat out wrong – so I took mom’s advice and said nothing at all.  I don’t think that’s a cop out at all for a review in brief.  If I had been asked to do a full review, well that’s a different story.  I won’t name the book here, but it did receive a positive review in February’s Civil War Times.  To each his own.

Anyway, the editor I deal with at ACW, Tobin Beck (who also co-authored, with Lance Herdegen, an article on the Underground Railroad in this issue), must have been satisfied since I’ve received three more books (and a DVD) to review for the May issue.

cwt-feb-08.jpgOn a related note, I want to echo Kevin Levin’s thoughts on the latest issue of Civil War Times (no longer Illustrated).  Friend Dana Shoaf has made a real impact since taking over, adding some features and ratcheting up the quality of the articles (read Dana’s interview with the author of this issue’s cover story, head Harvard honcho Drew Gilpin Faust, here).  But my favorite change is the ditching of the colorized photos on the cover.  For some reason I’ve always found them irritating.

Check out both of these increasingly fine magazines.  If you haven’t looked at them in awhile, I think you’ll be impressed.