View single post by SicklesatGB
 Posted: Sat Jul 18th, 2009 08:51 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 18th, 2009
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Hi CleburneFan and All,

As the author of Sickles at Gettysburg, needless to say your post caught my attention.

As a first-time author, I am thrilled to hear you say that you are enjoying the book despite your reservations on Sickles the individual. That was certainly a goal of mine going into this-- to get those who dislike Sickles to read and enjoy with an open mind.  

I also very much appreciate your comments on my "bringing the characters to life". As I noted in my interview with Michael, I wanted to let the participants speak as much as possible in order to make us readers better understand what the actual participants thought, saw, and said about their time at Gettysburg. In Sickles' case, what he said sometimes contradicted what he did, but that was part of the enjoyable challenge in sifting through the wreckage of Gettysburg's second day.

We have probably all read biographies where we came away thinking that we learned nothing about the people. Alot of biographies tell us WHAT people did, but not WHY. Or bios often fail to let us discover what kinds of people the subjects were. So I wanted to include commentary on who Sickles was--his speech patterns, his views on religion, alcohol, romances (of course), etc etc. 

Interestingly, some of the heaviest "flack" I have received has been regarding my view of Sickles' view on religion-- if he was "violently anti-Catholic" then why did he have that big Catholic funeral? (Sorry you'll have to read the last chapter to find that one out!) far as typos....thanks for enthusiastically highlighting George George. :shock: Actually you haven't gotten to the chapter yet where Reynolds dies at the George George House and Mr. George takes command of the Army of the Potomac...

I can assure folks that ALOT of care and attention went into putting this book together. It wasn't a haphazard effort and hopefully that shows in the length, maps, photos, notes, dustjacket, etc. My editor and I went back and forth debating and dissecting several things and unfortunately it's a human process and mistakes happen on a deadline. Frankly, this book is longer and more complex than alot of what is being published today, so unfortunately that increases the odds of human error. In the case of the OOB, George George WAS caught in the editing process and someone :X neglected to change it. (Ironically, the OOB was included at the last minute at my insistence for the "convenience of the reader"!) But I'm generally pleased with the final product and thankfully the reviews have thus far been favorable.

So thanks to everyone and keep reading! I'd be happy to discuss the book with your group; all we have to do is arrange the details.

Jim Hessler







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