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Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War Paperback – February 22, 1999
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz returned from years of traipsing through war zones as a foreign correspondent only to find that his childhood obsession with the Civil War had caught up with him. Near his house in Virginia, he happened to encounter people who reenact the Civil War--men who dress up in period costumes and live as Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. Intrigued, he wound up having some odd adventures with the "hardcores," the fellows who try to immerse themselves in the war, hoping to get what they lovingly term a "period rush." Horwitz spent two years reporting on why Americans are still so obsessed with the war, and the ways in which it resonates today. In the course of his work, he made a sobering side trip to cover a murder that was provoked by the display of the Confederate flag, and he spoke to a number of people seeking to honor their ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. Horwitz has a flair for odd details that spark insights, and Confederates in the Attic is a thoughtful and entertaining book that does much to explain America's continuing obsession with the Civil War. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
The first book the author's Russian grandfather bought on emigrating to the U.S., though he neither read nor spoke English, was about the Civil War, a book he still pored over into his 90s. And when Horwitz was a child, his father read him tales of the Civil War instead of fairy tales and children's literature. The powerful hold of that conflict on a diverse assortment of Americans translates into more than 60,000 books on the subject, according to the author; for some Civil War buffs it is an obsession that generates a startling number of clubs whose members regularly reenact the battles, playing out once again the logistics, problems, hardships, leading characters, losses and victories. Horwitz (Baghdad Without a Map), on a year-long exploration of these groups throughout the South, participated in some of their activities and came to know the lives and personalities of several of their members. His vivid, personal account is a mesmerizing review of history from a novel and entertaining angle.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Fortunately as a youth I knew my paternal Grandmother who was born in 1868 in Arkansas near Indian country. Her father had migrated from Vermont down to Arkansas to farm and within a year was serving as a hospital steward for the Army of Arkansas. That chapter of our country's history is still so very recent. Technological advances have made that era's distance from our present seem so much greater than it actually is.
The book itself is a terrific read! Tony Horwitz writes with flair, imagination and wit, but in this book, he also presents a serious and sometimes scary depiction of life as it really is in the South. I am not a Southerner by birth having been born in Oklahoma and spending close to 25 years in California, but found myself moving to Mississippi eight years ago. It was true culture shock and I find I am still making the adjustment. This book really shed some light on how many Southerners really feel about what was lost in the War. I admit I am amazed at how strongly the War and it's aftermath still affect the region and it's occupants to this day; it really helped explain the South to me. I learned an enormous amount about the Civil War while being immensely entertained; I think that is his gift: to make history come alive and meaningful in an easy-to-swallow, entertaining way.
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