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A Personal Look at the War,
This review is from: A Diary From Dixie (Hardcover)
This memoir is a wonderful panoramic view of America's most glorious tragedy, filled with romance, privation, luxury, and death. This chronicle is a window to a lost world, a world of private lives and great political movements.
Mrs. Chestnut provides us with the small details in the picaresque life of a general's wife. The frustration of a people's hope of self-determination is revealed, as is the revulsion of some Southerners to slavery and its attendant shame.
She shows us her neighbors' private and justified fear of murderous servants, the grand victories of the Confederate armies which mean nothing against an inexhaustible enemy, the intimate drawing room intrigues of upper class Southern debutantes among their friends and wounded heroes.
The traditional icons of Southern Gentility are shown to be less than uniformly admirable, though the perseverence and insight of this writer are heroic, and show the true character of the best of American womanhood.
Any serious student of the War Between the States who has not read this first-person account is not a serious student at all.