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|Hank, I certainly understand the skepticism in regards to this book. Although I don't specifically endorse 100% of his conclusions, I will stand-by my statement that he will have historians reevaluating many of their own convictions and he has rejuvenated interest in the topic of debate over the notion of Lee's ego-driven "blunder" vs. a more “logical” and strategic explanation. As a Stuart biographer myself, I agree that J.E.B. has taken the fall (thanks to Lee’s own memoirs) over the South’s defeat at Gettysburg unfairly (in SOME regards), BUT I still find it difficult to just accept that the reasoning behind Pickett’s Charge was as “black and white” as a desperate massacre that was poorly planned and poorly executed. After speaking directly with Carhart, his “West Point” proposal is a pretty good argument and he is well aware of the discussions he has generated (on both sides.)
Regardless, I love the fact that some of my reviews spark debate and if this one seems controversial just wait when I post my next one on “What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History” by Edward L. Ayers. As soon as that goes to press, I’ll copy it here and we can all get ready to return some volleys. - All in good faith of course.