2010 Reading List

28 12 2009

I’m working out a big part of my 2010 reading list.  A while back I determined to work up a presentation on the members of the West Point classes of 1861 at Bull Run and, while I’ve had no takers, I’ve decided to move ahead with that.  So far, this is the list I have – if you have any other recommendations, let me know:

I’ve finished up Jim Schmidt’s Lincoln’s Labels, and will start Joan Waugh’s U. S. Grant, American Hero, American Myth tonight, and then dive into the above list.

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9 responses

29 12 2009
Jim Schmidt

Harry – It’s a shame there isn’t a theme to that reading list! Personally, I’d put “Best School…” at the top of that list…it’s terrific. Not listed, but also highly recommended are the two volumes of the “Centennial of the United States Military Academy at West Point.” A reprint is available and the originals are avaikable on archive.org. Although he is no longer there, Alan C. Aimone (http://www.thegrayduck.com/aimone/) was once a key person at the USMA archives (he helped me a lot with my own research several years ago) and I’m sure he’d be happy to help you out! Good reading to you! Jim

29 12 2009
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks for the tip, Jim. Maybe I can take this little seed you have planted and water it with cash in anticipation of a Kindle sprouting in the spring!

30 12 2009
Phil LeDuc

Since West Point seems to be a subject of interest, I’ll recommend “West Point: A Bicentennial History” by Theodore Crackel, published by the University Press of Kansas as part of their “Modern War Studies” series. Ted is an historian who is extremely knowledgeable on the subject, having taught history there himself. He is now editor-in-chief of the “Papers of George Washington” project at the University of Virginia.
A couple of further items – he also wrote an “Illustrated History of West Point” (now out of print) back in the 90’s, and has also written the excellent “Mr. Jefferson’s Army” – a study of Jefferson’s reform of the military.
Enjoy your reading!

30 12 2009
Chris Evans

Nice list. After you have read all the Civil War books on West Point a very moving read about latter day 20th Century West Point is ‘The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point’s Class of 1966′ by Rick Atkinson. Very engaging and excellent book.

30 12 2009
Rene Tyree

Looks like a great list Harry. Have to concur with Chris in recommending Atkinson’s book.


31 12 2009
Mike Peters

If “The Long Gray Line,” by Atkinson is anything like his WW2 titles, the reader is in for a treat. They are excellent!

Mike Peters

1 01 2010
Harry Smeltzer

I read “The Long Gray Line” years ago and yes, it was a good one. A bit off topic when it comes to the classes of 1861, though.

14 01 2010
Chris Evans

Yes, I realized after I posted you were just reading about the class of ’61 not the entire of West Point’s history.

By the way, do you remember the TV movie about the class of ’61 made in 1993 that ended with battle scenes at First Manassas? Steven Spielberg was one of the producers and Clive Owen was one of the stars in it. It was suppose to be the launch of a weekly Civil War TV show that could have been interesting. Custer was also depicted and I thought the battle scenes were decent. It ended with a pretty good battle scene on Henry House Hill. Rose Greenhow was depicted, too. I would like to see that show again.


10 01 2010
Tom Clemens

Harry, i have both of Mary betty Sergent’s books. Will oan you either if you like. She is/was? a very nice lady.

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