Thunder at the Gates by Douglas R. Egerton (Civil War History, 2016). This is a very well-written, compelling and thorough account of the three pioneering regiments of African-American soldiers raised in Massachusetts during the Civil War (though the men came from all over the country and even several foreign lands). The 54th Massachusetts Infantry was the […]Read more "REVIEWED:Thunder at the Gates"
The Swamp Fox by John Oller (Historical Biography, 2016). This is a refreshingly honest and well-written account of a genuine American hero. It’s probably a (moderate) exaggeration to claim that Francis Marion “saved the American Revolution.” But the fact that he was a important and outstanding figure in the War of Independence is beyond debate. A smart, […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Swamp Fox"
North Men by John Haywood. (History, 2016). I don’t want to be snotty about it, but honesty demands that I say this straight out: In this book, John Haywood has managed the dubious and improbable feat of turning the story of the sprawling and dramatic, violent and complex heyday of the bold raiders we commonly call […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Northmen"
The Apache Wars by Paul Andrew Hutton. (History Book, 2016). This meaty (500+ pages), well-researched (check out the rather massive bibliography) and very well-written volume focuses on the years 1861-1890 and all the key people on all sides of the epic struggle for control of the lands that became the states of Arizona and New Mexico. […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Apache Wars"
Tonight’s coffeehouse opens with a Brad Pitt/Ray Liota gangster movie I’ve never seen…. Pittsburgh area poet Skot Jones is on hand (visiting for a week). Talked with him about a cool-sounding multimedia website (poetry, art, videos, etc) that he’s putting together and hopes to have up by the end of the month. Long train of […]Read more "November 3, 2016 at the Grand Midway"
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick. (History/Nonfiction, 2016) Veteran historian Philbrick’s latest is an often fascinating and always well-researched examination of the American Revolution, centered on the diverging destinies of two key military figures–George Washington and Benedict Arnold. He provides ample detail and good insights into both men’s personalities and how their essential characters led each to […]Read more "Reviewed: VALIANT AMBITION"