Book recommendations from the staff of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.2:30 PM, May 28, 2011 • By ANDREW FERGUSON, MATT LABASH and PHILIP TERZIAN
As with Christmas form letters and amateur poetry, I don’t take kindly to friends sticking books in my hand that lie outside my areas of interest, then insisting that I must read them. When one recently did just that with Born to Run, it was nearly cause for excommunication. Sure, I subscribe to the notion that this town rips the bones from your back, it’s a death trap, it’s a suicide wrap, we gotta get out while we’re young. But I’ve never entirely trusted Springsteen.
Cause and effect in the Civil War.Jun 6, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 36 • By EDWIN M. YODER JR.
The Union War
by Gary W. Gallagher
Harvard, 256 pp., $27.95
Claiming the legacy of the first Republican president.May 23, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 34 • By JOHN B. KIENKER
Progressivism, Equality, and the Battle for Lincoln’s Legacy in Presidential Rhetoric
Two new books offer something more on the war that haunts America.10:00 AM, Apr 30, 2011 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Robert E. Lee's Triumph 1862-1863
by Jeffrey D. Wert
Simon & Schuster, 400pp., $30
12:40 PM, Apr 19, 2011 • By LAUREN WEINER
The first men to die in the American Civil War fell on this day, 150 years ago, on Pratt Street in Baltimore. Troops en route to Washington were confronted downtown by rioters, and the fighting cost four federal soldiers and 12 civilians their lives.
The Civil War, unfolded in real time.6:27 PM, Jan 17, 2011 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
The Civil War
The First Year Told by Those Who Lived It
Edited by Brooks D. Simpson, Stephen W. Sears, and Aaron Sheehan-Dean
A fair assessment of the complicated Franklin Pierce.5:55 PM, Nov 17, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
It’s a minor tragedy of the historical profession that Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s instincts as a partisan ultimately trumped his gifts as a scholar. The son of a distinguished historian, he published a much-admired monograph on Andrew Jackson, and had begun a multi-volume history of the New Deal when politics (and fascination with the Kennedy clan) sucked him into a celebrity-driven world for which he was congenitally unsuited, at the expense of a burgeoning academic reputation.
How the Bluegrass State was (re)born.12:25 PM, Oct 28, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Among those regions of the country that are culturally self-conscious--northern New England, Southern California, Appalachia--the South has been especially occupied, during the past two centuries, in defining what constitutes its distinctive character.
"Cold Mountain," the season's biggest slab of Oscar bait, comes to theaters. Audiences will be deeply moved. Or else.11:00 PM, Dec 11, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
THE REASON I checked out of "24," the intriguing Fox network series, was that the show suffered from Sudden Supporting Character Death Syndrome. Every interesting supporting character--the policewoman with the Macy Gray hair, the girl from "Roseanne"--was dispatched, often in a grisly manner, and normally right after the audience developed a strand of attachment to them. At first, this penchant for killing peripheral characters seemed laudable--the writers at "24" saying, "Hey, we're not messing around here! The stakes are high and people die!"
From the April 22, 2003 Dallas Morning News: The History Channel brings Jay Winik's Civil War masterpiece "April 1865" to life.12:00 AM, Apr 25, 2003 • By TERRY EASTLAND
HISTORIANS will look back at this month and regard it as one of our nation's most important ever. April 2003 will be seen as the month in which we toppled a regime that tyrannized its own people and was a threat to its region and even beyond it. We don't know what the liberation of Iraq will fully mean for the Iraqi people, nor what impact it will have elsewhere in the Middle East. But April 2003 is the month in which we spared the world from further atrocities ordered by Saddam Hussein.
A big accomplishment, yes, but another April--in 1865--remains even more significant.
The coming war in Iraq is not one of necessity, it is, like our Civil War, a war of choice.11:00 PM, Feb 27, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
ONE REASON the coming war disturbs many Americans is that it seems optional. While the fight in Afghanistan was thrust upon us, this conflict is one our country enters by choice. It is a war we wouldn't be undertaking but for the conviction of our leaders--crucially, our president.
But in that, it is not unique in the American experience. If Afghanistan was like World War II in being a war of necessity, Iraq is like the Civil War in being a war of leadership and conviction.
It is easy to forget how optional the Civil War seemed to many at the time.