Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Books I Read in 2018

Last December I started the tradition of sharing a complete list of books that I during the year, so I thought that since it doesn't look like I'll be finishing any more by the end of this year that I would share the 2018 version here on Christmas Day. Like last year, I'll highlight those that I found particularly informative, enjoyable, or otherwise really liked. Here goes:

1. Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip Hop's Early Years by Joseph C. Ewoodzie

2. An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman by Lauren Cook Burgess

3. The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925 by Herbert Gutman

4. Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain by Brian Matthew Jordan

5. A Union Indivisible: Secession and the Politics of Slavery in the Border South by Michael D. Robinson

6. Madness Rules the Hour: Charleston, 1860 and the Mania for War by Paul Starobin

7. The American Dreams of John B. Prentis, Slave Trader by Kari J. Winter

8. Stark Mad Abolitionists: Lawrence, Kansas, and the Battle Over Slavery in the Civil War Era by Robert K. Sutton.

9. The F Street Mess: How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act by Alice Elizabeth Malavasic 

10. Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War by Christian McWhirter

11. Grant by Ron Chernow

12. Bound to the Fire: How Virginia's Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine by Kelley F. Deetz

13. The Great Fire of Petersburg, Virginia by Tamara J. Eastman

14. The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead by Meg Groeling

15. The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America by Edward Ayers

16. Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson by Christina Snyder

17. Your Brother in Arms: A Union Soldier's Odyssey by Robert C. Plumb

18. Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War by Elizabeth S. Pryor

19. A Melancholy Affair at the Weldon Railroad: The Vermont Brigade, June 23, 1864 by David Farris Cross

20. Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia, edited by Jeffrey Lowe and Sam Hodges

21. Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing by Christopher Hager

22. Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia, edited by Caroline Janney

23. Marching Home: Union Veterans and their Unending Civil War by Brian Matthew Jordan

24. Southern Pamphlets on Secession: November 1860 to April 1861, edited by Jon L. Wakelyn

25. We Were in Power Eight Years: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

26. Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South by Kari Leigh Merritt

27. The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory by Matthew C. Hulbert

28. Frederick Douglass: America's Prophet by D. H. Dilbeck

29. A Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg, Vol. 1, The Crossing of the James to the Crater by A. Wilson Greene

30. Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat by Jonathan Steplyk 

31. Strike the Blow for Freedom: The 6th United States Colored Infantry by James M. Paradis

32. Civil War Logistics: A Study of Military Transportation by Earl J. Hess

33. Almost Free: A Story about Family and Race in Antebellum Virginia by Eva Sheppard Wolf

34. Inglorious Passages: Noncombat Deaths in the American Civil War by Brian Steel Wills

35. Confederate Supply by Richard D. Goff

36. My Brother's Keeper: African Canadians and the American Civil War by Brian Prince

37. Dear Ones at Home: Letters from Contraband Camps, edited by Henry L. Swint

38. The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in American by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey

39. The Loyal Republic: Traitors, Slaves, and the Remaking of Citizenship in Civil War America by Erik Mathisen

40. A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration by Steven Hahn

41. Secessionists and Other Scoundrels: Selections from Parson Brownlow's Book, edited by Stephen V. Ash

42. The Confederacy is on Their Way Up the Spout: Letters to South Carolina, 1861-1864, edited by J. Roderick Heller and Carolynn A. Heller

43. Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army by Eugene L. Meyer

45. John Brown Speaks: Letters and Statements from Charlestown, edited by Louis DeCaro, Jr.

46. Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero by Cate Lineberry

47. Don't Hurry Me Down to Hades: The Civil War in the Words of Those Who Lived It by Susannah J. Ural

48. Slavery in the Clover Bottoms: John McClain;s Narrative of His Live in Slavery and during the Civil War, edited by Jan Furman

49. Lincoln's Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy by Richard Nelson Current

50. A Fierce Glory: Antietam - The Desperate Battle that Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery by Justin Martin

51. No Freedom Shrieker: The Civil War Letters of Union Soldier Charles Biddlecom, edited by Katherine Aldridge

52. Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery by Katrina Dyonne Thompson

53. The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War by Joanne B. Freeman

54. Civil War Barons: The Tycoons, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Visionaries Who Forged Victory and Shaped a Nation by Jeffry D. Wert

55. Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation by John R. Neff

56. Calculating the Value of the Union: Slavery, Property Rights, and the Economic Origins of the Civil War by James L. Huston

57. Hood's Texas Brigade: The Soldiers and Families of the Confederacy's Most Celebrated Unit by Susanah J. Ural

58. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

59. The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg's Forgotten History - Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War's Defining Battle by Margaret S. Creighton

60. From "Superman" to Man by Joel Augustus Rogers

Well, I fell one book short of last year's total of 61, but completing better than a book a week is not too bad. 2019 has a number of great history releases coming, and there is always my ever-growing "to be read" shelf. Merry Christmas! And happy reading in the New Year!


  1. Tim, I hope that I can read half that many books over the next year. I did receive for Christmas two interesting books - Silent Witness The Civil War through Photography and its Photographers authored by Ron Field and The Untold Civil War Exploring the Human Side of War by James Robertson.

    Being a former resident of Frankfort, a new book might be of interest to you. It is titled Historic Frankfort Yesterday & Today. This book was put together by Nicky Hughes and Russ Hatter. The book compares historic photographs to recent photos of the same locale. As Mr. Hughes states in the Introduction: "While some comparisons do reveal what any rational person would perceive as improvements, far too many of them - in the view of the dedicated historic preservationists who have prepared this book - reveal loss to the community. Loss of fine old buildings; loss of neighborhoods; loss of community; loss of inspiration; loss of memory; loss of individuality and variety; loss of creativity."

  2. Hi Paul, The photography book sounds great, and we have The Untold Civil War at our library at work.

    I was fortunate to meet both Nicky and Russ when I was in Frankfort. Both have a wealth of knowledge about Frankfort's early history. Their book sounds like a great read. The quote you include is so true for Frankfort's built environment history. Thanks for sharing!