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By Linda on 07-07-18
An idiosyncratic anthology
As with most anthologies, some entries were more interesting than others. Though I’m no US Civil War scholar, I’ve read a fair amount on the subject. While I was familiar with most of the people and events discussed here, I learned quite a bit.
HB Stowe and John Brown were fleshed out, and the picture painted of Lincoln’s death was especially poignant. The essay on RE Lee left me puzzled. By its early focus on the creation of the Lee “mythology”, I was rather prepared to see some myths smashed, but to the contrary, it seemed to be conventional Lee biography. The USS Merrimack, a fascinating subject, was made less so by what felt like some excruciating details about the designer, the bidding, etc.
Be warned: the narrator practices Up Speak, ending many phrases and sentences with a rise in tone, suggesting a question. This might be excusable in a dialog-heavy novel, but it destroys the credibility of the nonfiction narrator.