Confederates in the Attic

  • by Tony Horwitz
  • Narrated by Arthur Addison
  • 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.
Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.
In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'
Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.

More

What the Critics Say

"The freshest book about divisiveness in America that I have read in some time. This splendid commemoration of the war and its legacy...is an eyes-open, humorously no-nonsense survey of complicated Americans." (Roy Blount Jr., New York Times Book Review)"In this sparkling book Horwitz explores some of our culture's myths with the irreverent glee of a small boy hurling snowballs at a beaver hat. . . . An important contribution to understanding how echoes of the Civil War have never stopped."--USA TodayHorwitz's chronicle of his odyssey through the nether and ethereal worlds of Confederatemania is by turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating. He has found the Lost Cause and lived to tell the tale a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out. --James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom
"In this sparkling book Horwitz explores some of our culture's myths with the irreverent glee of a small boy hurling snowballs at a beaver hat.... An important contribution to understanding how echoes of the Civil War have never stopped." (USA Today)Horwitz's chronicle of his odyssey through the nether and ethereal worlds of Confederatemania is by turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating. He has found the Lost Cause and lived to tell the tale a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out. --James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom
"Horwitz's chronicle of his odyssey through the nether and ethereal worlds of Confederatemania is by turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating. He has found the Lost Cause and lived to tell the tale a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out. (James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good story

Enjoyed the story and folks in the book. but the narrator was very monotone and dry. but overall liked the book.
Read full review

- Sam

thought provoking

listening to his travels, admiring his Outlook, you get a sense of what a lot of people may think about while researching the Civil War. Not quite taking it to the extent of becoming a hardcore, but still viewing things through the lens that he saw things through. A great thought-provoking read.
Read full review

- Brian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-19-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio