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Mary Chesnut's Diary (Penguin Classics) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
"...Jackson whose regiment stood so stock still under fire that they were called a stone wall."-p. 78
"...Beauregard writes that is army is upon the verge of starvation..."-p. 85
"People avoid great talkers, men given to monologue, as they would avoid fire,famine or pestilence."-p. 105
"I like Disraeli because I find so many clever things in him. I like the sparkle and glitter."-p. 119
"Mr. Yancey says we have not one jot of hope.Read more ›
Chestnut personally knew Jefferson Davis for example, and reports not only his conversations but his state of mind and deeper moods. It was almost as if, he had a grip on the short odds the south faced, and while others were cheering initial victories, Davis maintained a more reserved and cautious tone...sometimes bordering on melancholy. This Chestnut reports with honesty and sensitivity.
With insight, intelligence and real nuance, she reports on important issues like rights of states, slavery, economics, as well as her ideas of honor, virtue, victory, defeat, and mercy. She speaks from a southern perspective, but never shirks from the hard veracity of Dixie's deteriorating prospects. Her commentary upon African slaves is quite powerful: "People talk before them as if they were chairs and tables. They make no sign. Are the stolidly stupid, or wiser than we are; silent and strong, biding their time?"
A great bonus, is that she's also quite readable, mixing the mundane with historic events. She's a good writer and holds one's attention. With the Penguin Edition, readers also get excellent footnotes, which elucidate a sometimes missing chronology. And not to be missed, is the Catherine Clinton Introduction, as it explains Chestnut's personal life, politics, and a writing process, which includes thoughts and insights on her later embellishments.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's so interesting to see how the war affected even the well-connected people. It's like climbing back in time.Published 15 months ago by FDR
This is probably THE PREMIER diary of the Civil War. Mary was true to herself throughout, and we are all better for reading it.Published 18 months ago by Mike Movius
This is a high profile historic diary brought into popular culture by excerpts included on Ken Burns’ documentary, The Civil War. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Irving Warner
Is it true Chesnut wrote this "diary" twenty years after the War Between the States? And that it was not published until 15 years after her death and at that publication... Read morePublished 23 months ago by music lover
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