Thursday, October 8, 2020

Recent Acquisitions to My Library

It is difficult to believe that we are already a week into October. Having not posted yet this month means that I am a little behind if I am going to hit my target of nine posts. A significant amount of my time and mental energy has gone into work for the Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association. Demands at work have also increased which take away some "off hours" for preparation. Of course, my pace of reading has slacked, too. Regardless, I am still finding a few books here and there from my "wishlist" that are available at the right price.   

Despite leaving Kentucky over five years so, my interest in the border region has not dissipated. The Ohio River separated slave state Kentucky from free states Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Somehow Union proved stronger than slavery and the Bluegrass State remained part of the United States. In Bonds of Union: Religion, Race, and Politics in a Civil War Borderland, author Bridget Ford examines these factors as the glue that helped the region stay together.

The War Went On: Reconsidering the Lives of Civil War Veterans, edited by Brian Matthew Jordan and Evan C. Rothera, is the latest contribution to the growing body of Civil War veterans studies. Fantastic books by Jordan, James Marten, and Donald R. Shaffer, among others, have explored issues that veterans faced as they transitioned back into society and as they aged. This collection of 15 essays promises to unearth even more aspects of soldiers' postwar lives and will certainly make a major contribution to this genre of scholarship. 
An especially intriguing new title is Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence by Kellie Carter Jackson. My personal interest in John Brown is partly because his vision was so far from the typical moral suasionist white abolitionist. With African Americans having so much at stake in the eradication of slavery, it stands to reason that there would be more variance in methods. Both in  language and action black violence helped create an atmosphere that made white Southerners very uncomfortable and assisted in bringing on the Civil War, and thus ultimately the end of the "peculiar institution."      

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