Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Literary "Civil War-Gasm" for the Reader, June 9, 2011
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This review is from: Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Paperback)
When I bought the book, I had not heard anything about it and figured it would be an homage to the old South and to those who value their Southern roots and heritage.

Once I sat down to read it, I was a bit startled to find that it was written by some fellow named Horowitz who was born in DC and went to Brown and Columbia Universities. In the beginning, it appeared that the author was going to trash practically every quirky Southern character and every aspect of Southern heritage he came across. It didn't help me to find that he is married to Geraldine Brookes, the decidedly Confed-aphobic author of "March", about the abolitionist father who is away from home during the entire story told in "Little Women".

Things didn't look good for the South as Horowitz started telling his tale. And that's pretty much how it went ... up until he met Robert Lee Hodge, that is.

Robert Lee Hodge is not only the subject of the cover photo on the book, he is also probably the most dedicated hardcore reenactor alive. Once Horowitz got together with Rob Hodge, his his research ... and for that matter, his education ... really began. During their hilarious first meeting, Hodge's boys introduce Horowitz to their primitive cold camp and a diet of hardtack and coffee, as well as the quaint practice of "spooning" to keep warm on a frigid night in the field. Soon they embark together on what Hodge affectionately calls a "Civil War-gasm" ... a mile-a-minute attempt to see and experience the greatest amount of Civil War history in the shortest amount of time possible.

Along the way, through Hodge's dedication and knowledge, Horowitz develops a greater awareness, respect, and appreciation of what he is really writing about. Benefiting from Hodge's contribution, he redirects his narrative and thus produces something I doubt he actually had in mind when he began.

Some readers have offered reviews without completing the entire book, while others accept the biased and negative preconceptions of those who read the book hoping Horowitz would lean one way or the other idealistically. That's a shame.

"Confederates in the Attic" presents a wonderful overall exposure to almost every aspect of the heritage of the Civil War as it manifests itself in our world today. It is at once, humorous, enlightening, disturbing, educational, and thought-provoking.

Read the book with an open mind and see if you don't agree.
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