View single post by samhood
 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2010 11:14 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 55

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According to a new book on John Bell Hood will be released in April 2010. Titled "John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory" by Brian Miller, the book will challenge the misinformation which has permeated Civil War history as a result of modern books by Western Theater authors. The promo on the book states:

Some Southern generals, like Lee and Jackson, have stood the test of time, celebrated in their place in history. And then there are generals like John Bell Hood, reviled and ridiculed by generations of Civil War historians as one of the inglorious architects of the Confederate disgrace in the Western Theater. The time has come to rethink this long-held notion, argues Brian Miller, in his comprehensive new biography John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory, and to reassess John Bell Hood as a man, a myth and a memory.

In this first biography of the general in over twenty years, Miller offers a new, original perspective, directly challenging those historians who have pointed to Hood’s perceived personality flaws, his alleged abuse of painkillers, and other unsubstantiated claims as proof of his incompetence as a military leader. This book takes into account Hood’s entire life—as a student at West Point, his meteoric rise and fall as a soldier and Civil War commander, and his career as a successful postwar businessman. In many ways Hood represents a typical southern man, consumed by personal and societal definitions of manhood that were threatened by amputation and preserved and reconstructed by Civil War memory. Miller consults a variety of sources, explaining not only what Hood did but also the environment in which he lived and how it affected him.

What emerges is a more nuanced, balanced portrait, unfettered by the one-sided perspectives of previous historical narratives. It gives Hood the fair treatment he has been denied for far too long. By looking at Hood’s formative years, his wartime experiences, and his postwar struggles to preserve his good name, this book opens up a provocative new perspective on life of this controversial figure.

Brian Craig Miller is an assistant professor of history at Emporia State University. He is author of The American Memory: Americans and Their History in 1877.

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