"Noe provides his insights in a fair-minded manner. . . . We need more books like this one to document facts."
-The Review of Politics
"A must read. . . . Ground breaking . . . the best book out this year."
"Noe has provided the Civil War enthusiast with a fascinating presentation of excellent research. His study fills a gap in our understanding of all the men who fought for the Confederacy."
-New York Journal of Books
"With insight and skill, Noe hands down some provocative judgments."
-Civil War Book Review
"[Noe's] book is one to be studied and admired."
-Journal of Southern History
"Well researched and finely written….An excellent work and highly recommended."
-Blue & Gray Magazine
"The writing is excellent, the research is complete and the analysis on target. . . . If you want a challenging, thought-provoking book, you will be hard pressed to find a better candidate."
-TOCWOC-A Civil War Blog
adds nuance and range in its answer to the well-worn question of why soldiers fought. It reminds readers of the varied motivations and experiences of Johnny Reb."
-Arkansas Historical Quarterly
"Ken Noe has crafted a thought-provoking, well-researched, poignant window into a neglected topic….Noe's book is important and begs to be read….Civil War historians and educated lay readers will grapple with this book and its underlying research for years to come."
"Noe admirably stays impartial and transparent in his research throughout. He has produced a significant study worthy of debate in the scholarship on Civil War motivations."
- The Journal of American History
"An absorbing study. . . . Uncovers some very interesting and thought-provoking material. . . . This excellent book provides a more complete portrait of Johnny Reb. . . . Highly recommended."
"Absorbing and thought-provoking. . . . Such impressive scholarly analysis and writing, coupled with quality design and materials, make this a captivating volume that all students of the Civil War in general and the Confederacy in particular will want to read."
-Civil War News
"Those attracted to Civil War history and those interested in the interrelationships between culture and war in varied historical contexts should find this work of interest."
"Noe makes an important contribution to our understanding of Civil War soldiers in his well-written and entertaining work."
-The Alabama Review
"Scholars and the large audience of Civil War readers will find interesting insights in [this] book."
- H-Net Reviews
"Noe's command of the secondary literature is impeccable and his archival research nothing less than heroic. . . . A highly readable, judiciously argued book that fills a crucial gap in the literature on Civil War soldiers. It will be of interest to Civil War scholars and buffs alike."
-Journal of East Tennessee History
"Noe's deft analysis of primary sources…sheds light on a previously under-analyzed portion of the Confederate army….Reluctant Rebels
will help readers better understand community, family, gender, and the complexity of Southern society during the Civil War."
-The North Carolina Historical Review
"While broad historical generalizations remain faceless, Noe personalizes the accounts….[His] sampling serves to create a situation in which the reader can more easily empathize with the motivations and actions of the men in question….The structure of his study and the conscientious approach to his research offer an excellent model for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for independent researchers."
"Readers will find this an interesting [study] on a previously unaddressed element of Civil War history."
-The Post and Courier
is a well-researched, highly readable book . . . . Anyone interested in Civil War history or the life of the Confederate soldier should definitely take a look at this offering."
"A valuable monograph, which will stand with books by James McPherson and Bell Wiley among standards on Confederate soldiers. . . . Noe presents insights not only into these late comers, but also into those who came early and remained throughout the war. . . . The publications of books like this one demonstrates the vitality of such study and the potential for public learning. . . . We need more books like this one to document facts."
-Review of Politics
"Compelling. . . . This superb study effectively engages previous scholarship and fills a neat niche in the literature."
-America's Civil War
"An absorbing study. . . . Thought provoking. . . . This excellent book provides a more complete portrait of Johnny Reb. . . Highly recommended."
"A valuable monograph, which will stand with books by James McPherson and Bell Wiley among standard studies on Confederate soldiers….We need more books like this one to document facts."
-The Review of Politics
"This fine study . . . answers questions about motivation and enlistment that have hovered over the field for generations. . . . The strengths of Noe's book lie in his clear prose, deep research, and persuasive analysis."
-Virginia Magazine of History and Biography