Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The
Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation,
reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When
people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters
and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with
still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era
he depicts. Continued below...
The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew
only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller,
and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the
words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained
photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed
as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every
Recommended Reading: Lincoln on Race and
Slavery [ILLUSTRATED] (Hardcover), by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Editor,
Introduction), Donald Yacovone (Editor). Description: Generations of Americans have debated the meaning of Abraham Lincoln's
views on race and slavery. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, authorized the use of black troops during the Civil War,
supported a constitutional amendment to outlaw slavery, and eventually advocated giving the vote to black veterans and to
what he referred to as "very intelligent negroes." Continued below...
But he also harbored grave doubts about the intellectual capacity of African
Americans, publicly used the n-word until at least 1862, enjoyed "darky" jokes and black-faced minstrel shows, and long favored
permanent racial segregation and the voluntary "colonization" of freed slaves in Africa, the Caribbean, or South America.
In this book--the first complete collection of Lincoln's important writings on both race and slavery--readers can explore
these contradictions through Lincoln's own words. Acclaimed Harvard scholar and documentary filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,
presents the full range of Lincoln's views, gathered from his private letters, speeches, official documents, and even race
jokes, arranged chronologically from the late 1830s to the 1860s. Complete
with definitive texts, rich historical notes, and Gates's original introduction, this book charts the progress of a war within
Lincoln himself. We witness his struggles with conflicting aims and ideas--a hatred of slavery and a belief in the political
equality of all men, but also anti-black prejudices and a determination to preserve the Union even at the cost of preserving
slavery. We also watch the evolution of his racial views, especially in reaction to the heroic fighting of black Union troops.
At turns inspiring and disturbing, Lincoln on Race and Slavery is indispensable
for understanding what Lincoln's views meant for his generation--and what they mean for our own.
Recommended Reading: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (444
pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated edition: November 2007) Description: The
Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather,
it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced,
the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records to construct this
frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil
War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom
he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below...
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model
"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate
private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind
we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature
Recommended Reading: "Why I Wave the Confederate Flag, Written by a Black Man". Description: Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. "This book is about truth and passion."
What makes this book dangerous is its raw honesty. Hervey lifts the
veil of Black decadence at the same time he exposes the lies and political correctness of modern day America. Continued below...
Hervey states: "I show that the Civil War was not fought over slavery
and that the demise of my race in America is not of the White man, but rather of our own making. In this book, I show how
Blacks in America ran away from physical bondage to one far worse-- mental bondage."
Recommended Reading: The
History Buff's Guide to the Civil War (400 pages). Description:
Exploring the Civil War can be fascinating, but with so many battles, leaders, issues, and more than 50,000 books on these
subjects, the task can also be overwhelming. Was Gettysburg the most important battle? Were Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson
Davis so different from each other? How accurate is re-enacting? Who were the worst commanding generals? Thomas R. Flagel
uses annotated lists organized under more than thirty headings to see through the powder smoke and straighten Sherman’s
neckties, ranking and clarifying the best, the worst, the largest, and the most lethal aspects of the conflict. Continued
Major sections are fashioned around the following topics:
• Antebellum: Investigates the critical years before the war, in particular
the growing crises, extremists, and slavery.
• Politics: Contrasts the respective presidents and constitutions
of the Union and Confederacy, the most prominent politicians, and the most volatile issues of the times.
• Military Life: Offers insights into the world of the common soldiers,
how they fought, what they ate, how they were organized, what they saw, how they lived, and how they died.
• The Home Front: Looks at the fastest growing field in Civil War
research, including immigration, societal changes, hardships and shortages, dissent, and violence far from the firing lines.
• In Retrospect: Ranks the heroes and heroines, greatest victories
and failures, firsts and worsts.
• Pursuing the War: Summarizes Civil War study today, including films,
battlefield sites, books, genealogy, re-enactments, restoration, preservation, and other ventures.
From the antebellum years to Appomattox and beyond, The History Buff’s
Guide to the Civil War is a quick and compelling guide to one of the most complex and critical eras in American history.