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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 03:01 pm
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javal1
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Top 50 Civil War Books of All-Time

Ten years ago we compiled a Top 50 Best Civil War Books list, voted on by readers. Now 10 years later, with thousands of new readers and new books, it's time to do it again. Help compile our new list (and maybe win a prize!). Hurry - voting ends March 1st. Go there now...

 


OK folks, put your opinions to the test. We want all of our readers to vote in this. Feel free to shoot the breeze about it here, but be sure to also follow the procedure to vote! DETAILS HERE



 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2008 09:48 pm
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connyankee
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Hmmm...not sure I like the idea of being first poster, but anyways, I thought about this for several hours and came up with the same conclusion that I did 10 years ago.  I like Robertson's biography of Stonewall Jackson.  I would like to compliment you, Javal, for knowing your audience.  We don't like one-answer, get-it-all-here responses to questions of this type.  You know darn well we have several favorites and to list only three is a pretty good comprimise.

This book, "Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend." is, in my opinion, a must for anyone's bookshelf, or closer as I have found.  It is the definitive work on the General to date.  It is important to emphasize the words "The Man" in the title.  This will serve you well when you read about Jackson in other literary references.  I never liked the man but that is irrelevant.  I don't think that it was the purpose of Robertson to get us to like him as much as it was his purpose for us to understand him. Much can be said if Jackson were to have survived.  I don't think that this would have changed the outcome of the war but I do think that it would have changed the circumstances under which it was fought. 

Of the author, one can say only of praise and respect.  He is well-loved and respected.  I've taken his online course on the social aspects of the civil war and even met him once - too absorbed by the moment, I guess, to ask him for his autograph.  Got to love his southern drawl.  It's okay to pronounce "R's" only when followed by a vowel.  I know of two Massachusetts senators that don't do R's well.

Robertson's view of the Confederate Flag controversy is one that I've adopted for myself.  I'd take heed of it and post only once, putting an end to this thing.

Respectfully,

connyankee

 

 



 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 01:17 am
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ole
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Going with connyankee. The minute I pronounce a book an "all time best," there's another. The best book is the one I'm reading at the time.

ole



 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 01:24 am
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CleburneFan
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Dang! This is so hard. I love so many Civil War books and so many new ones are coming out that I know I will cherish too. I'm going to have to really pull my thinking cap down tight on this one. Ole expressed it so well just above me here.

Maybe the better strategy would be to vote for the three best I can think of right off hand rather than struggle and struggle trying to be "fair and balanced." Maybe the first three in my brain really are the three I think are best.

The other challenge is deciding if I should vote for what I think are the three best for all people interested in the Civil War or just what I feel are my personal best.

Last edited on Sat Feb 16th, 2008 01:37 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 02:59 am
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susansweet
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Add to that should I vote for books that have lasted though the years and are classics or vote for ones that have recently come out that are sooo good.  Also do I vote for general books about the war or vote for books about certain aspects of the war.  I am soooo frustrated . 

susan



 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 12:45 pm
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Johan Steele
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Only three... ach it cannot be done!



 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2008 10:44 pm
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CleburneFan
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Whatever all of you do, don't do what I did. I decided to do the hasty--first three that come to mind thing--thinking that on some Freudian level they MUST be my favorites and submitted them late last night.

Well, this morning as I was brushing my teeth all of a sudden it hit me, I had somehow managed to completely forget the Civil War book I have read and read again three times in three years!  So much for Freudian theory. I did that book and its author such an injustice. Even the History Channel has an hour-long show based on that book. Now I can only hope that many others here will nominate it in place of my having done so..

But what are the odds they will? There are so many outstanding and deserving books on every facet of the Civil War. It is truly a Herculean task to narrow them down to fifty.

To Susan. I did decide to choose a recent book, one published in 2007. I enjoyed it so very much, I felt it really was worthy of a nomination. It sets a very high standard  for Civil War history books that deal just with a specific aspect and short event of the war.

Last edited on Sat Feb 16th, 2008 10:45 pm by CleburneFan



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 05:59 am
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susansweet
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Fan I chose one very very old book, one from the 40's and one from last year.  I had to do it fast or I would be sitting here whining even more about only three choices. 

Susan



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 03:26 pm
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Dixie Girl
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i cant pick a favorite, i love them all.



____________________
War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 05:37 pm
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susansweet
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I don't love them all .  I have read some poorly researched or poorly written books on various aspects of the war. Some so dreadful I fall asleep as soon as I pick it up.  I also have read some really fine works.  Some so much better than any others.  It is really hard to chose from the fine works three books to say are the best.

I finally decided to chose from those that have stood the test of time.  Older books that still hold up in interest , information and readablity.  I did chose one that is new in 07 as it is so highly aclaimed  and I enjoyed reading it so much. 

That said I always have trouble with top ten list of anything.  Films, lines, from movies, book awards , recordings .  Drives me crazy.

Susan



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