U. S. CIVIL WAR BOOKS
- Great! Run out and buy it!
- Good! Recommended!
- Flawed! Some redeeming features. Get it from the library.
- Gawd-awful! Avoid this one!
- Don't Ask!
- Not Rated!
These are, of course, only our opinions. Your comments or rebuttals to the Webmaster are always welcome.
Redneck Nation, How the South Really Won the War --- By Michael Graham
In this book, Michael Graham presents his opinion that all of the current Northern (i.e. all states that are not in the South) problems, such as multiculturalism, political correctness, whining for government handouts, etc. (and possibly bad breath), originated in the bad old South 1 . Of course he doesn't know where the South is or what it includes 2 , but he blames it anyway!
Either Michael Graham has been seriously wronged by the South, or he is trying to become the "head whackjob in the loony League of the North" (to paraphrase his attack on Michael Hill 3 ).
You have to love Graham. He is of such intellect that he can condense the entire Civil War, including its cause, into the following paragraph:
Kind of takes your breath away. Is there one word in the above paragraph that approaches the truth? I don't think so! Graham should stay in the North. If he comes here, the South's average intelligence will drop and the North's average intelligence will rise.
Mr. Graham drags us through all of his hates about the South, not forgetting to remind us that he, Graham, was above all of that when he was raised here. But a diatribe about the Southern culture alone will not appear on any best seller lists, so he includes a number of things wrong with the North. This sounds balanced until he points out that everything wrong with the North has been caused by the South!
His logic appears to be like this:
I found nothing "funny and insightful" (from an endorsement on the jacket) in the book. It's bitterness blocks out any attempt at humor. Perhaps "funny and insightful" refers to the jacket of the book. The jacket has a photograph of a guy (possibly Graham) who appears to be urinating behind a pick up truck (No gun rack --- must be a Northern truck) or is he urinating on the truck? That would be much funnier! Ha! Ha! Everyone knows that only Southerners urinate in places other than a bathroom.
Graham dislikes, no hates 5 , the South. Nevertheless, he ends with a prophylactic; a few words about how he loves the South and even has defended it in the past. Since he considers Southerners to be so dumb 6 , I don't understand the reason for the prophylactic. Surely he is not worried about people without "book learnin" reading the book.
I should have known to avoid this book after seeing endorsements by Bill Maher and CNN's Carlson on the back. I even bought a copy with the "author's" signature, which, in my opinion, makes it worth less than if he hadn't signed it.
One-half star is too high of a rating for this book!
NOTES:(Referring to the book)
1 - Page XV.
2 - Chapter 3.
3 - Pages 29, 30, 31.
Editor note - Dr. J. Michael Hill, of Monroe, Louisiana, is President of The League of the South and the author of "Celtic Warfare" and "Fire & Sword". He is also a frequent lecturer on Southern cultural issues.
4 - Page 14.
5 - Page 2.
6 - Pages 5, 22, 54, 92 et al.
Someone Else's Yesterday --- By Jeffrey J. Keene
As most of the visitors to this site know, John B. Gordon (1832-1904) was a Confederate General during the Civil War. He participated in most of the major Eastern theater battles including the Seven Days, Sharpsburg ( where he was wounded five times), Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Monocacy, Petersburg, and others, eventually surrendering with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox in April, 1865. An outstanding soldier, he was one of the few successful generals of the Civil War who was not a West Point graduate. After the war he served as U.S. Senator and Governor of Georgia. He died January 9, 1904 in Miami Florida.
But did his biography end when he died in 1904?
A new book by Jeffrey J. Keene, "Someone Else's Yesterday" argues that John B. Gordon's biography continued when the author, Keene, was born in 1947. Keene reasons that he is the reincarnation of General Gordon.
Jeffrey J. Keene, who was born in Danbury, Connecticut and raised in Westport, Connecticut, is a decorated firefighter, and presently an Assistant Fire Chief with the Westport Fire Department. A Civil War researcher, he has visited most of the major battle sites in the North and South.
Although the Civil War is not the main subject of his book, I believe the connection to the Civil War is sufficient for the book to be reviewed on this site.
In order to review the book, beyond the Civil War references, I had to force myself to address the main subject of the book, the idea of reincarnation and all of its ramifications. It is, to me, no easy subject to address.
Does reincarnation exist?
After reading Mr. Keene's book many readers may answer that question with at least a qualified "yes". However, I, on the other hand, must say that I still don't know and I am skeptical. I feel that to believe in reincarnation, like believing in a religion, requires a lot of faith and the acceptance of assumptions that can neither be proved nor disproved. Dr. Walter Semkiw, according to his website www.johnadams.net, a Board Certified Occupational Medicine physician with a Masters of Public Health (MPH), would probably disagree with me on this.
Dr. Semkiw on his website, rated Mr. Keene's connection to General Gordon using a "past life critera" containing six categories (Physical appearance, Personality traits, Writing style, Karmic group, Past life symbols and Past life memories) and rates the connection positive in all six categories. From this, I assume that Dr. Semkiw considers Mr. Keene to be the reincarnation of General Gordon.
With all of this said, let's take a look at the book "Someone Else's Yesterday".
The book, published by Blue Dolphin Publishing Inc., is well-written and I can detect no factual errors in Mr. Keene's references to the Civil War and to General Gordon's involvement. Disregarding my personal baggage, I must say that he does make a case for being the General in a previous life. Keene's visits to the Civil War battlefields and his many references to General Gordon make for interesting (from a Civil War buff's perspective) and thought-provoking reading. I was particularly interested in the appendixes; "History Restored" concerning the "myth" that General Gordon did not encounter wounded Union General Francis C. Barlow on the battlefield at Gettysburg --- Keene contends that they did meet --- and "A Brief History of the Lawton-Gordon-Evans Brigade (CSA) in the War Between the States" by Chris J. Brantley.
I think that Keene weakens the overall impact of his book by including other firefighters as reincarnations without giving them the detailed examination to which he submits himself . The book seems a little long, but does not drag, as books discussing a single concept are prone to do.
If you would like to read a book that forces you to think about the hereafter and the significance of our existence, this is the book for you. Although centered on one person's experiences it really generates a number of universal and, to me, unanswerable questions.
When in the Course of Human Events - Arguing the Case for Southern Secession --- By Charles Adams
This is a great book!!!
Charles Adams, who is claimed to be a Northern writer, has written a powerful book taking on the current wave of Civil War revisionist history. Naturally, he will be dismissed for violating the current P.C. interpretation of the War and its causes, but I feel that his book is a must read for anyone with an open mind.
From the book:
"There is no doubt that during the Civil War era the U. S. Constitution held by a thread. People today have no idea of the real dangers to American society that were on the line, and few realize just how fortunate succeeding generations are that the military despotism that plagued the land for over five years did not last forever. The radicals eventually were toppled from power and disappeared..."
This is a small sample of the contents of the book. It doesn't show the many references to primary sources that Adams provides; the opinions of Europe and England at the time; the thorough repudiation of the so-called legal basis for Lincoln's actions; and many other eye-opening revelations.
Charles Dickens's statement, in December, 1861, reflects a difference with the current historians regarding the reason for the Civil War.
Also from the book:
"...the quarrel between the North and the South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel."