The Bookshelf

The digital home of book reviews and author interviews—and your source of the most up-to-date information on all things Civil War literature

Published 8/22/2012

NELSON: Ruin Nation (2012)

By: Edward L. Ayers Category: Book Reviews

Nelson examines destruction squarely and without flinching. She has undertaken remarkable primary research and offers powerful stories as well as revealing interpretations of images...

Published 8/15/2012

DIRCK: Lincoln and the Constitution (2012)

By: Elizabeth D. Leonard Category: Book Reviews

In under 150 pages, Dirck delivers. Lincoln and the Constitution is a rich, creative, and utterly readable rendering of the development of Abraham Lincoln's constitutional theory from which scholars, too, can benefit...

Published 8/8/2012

SARNA & MENDELSOHN (eds.): Jews and the Civil War (2011)

By: Daniel Kotzin Category: Book Reviews

The Jewish experience during the Civil War has often been ignored or side-stepped by both Civil War historians and historians of American Jewish history. Thankfully, with the publication of Jews and the Civil War, editors Jonathan Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn have put together a collection of seminal previously published works on this topic...

Published 8/1/2012

CURRAN (ed.): John Dooley's Civil War (2011)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

For years, historians have found the diary of Second Lieutenant John Edward Dooley, of Company C of the First Virginia Infantry Regiment, a valuable resource...

Published 8/1/2012

NEWMAN & MUELLER (eds.): Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia (2011)

By: Kristen C. Brill Category: Book Reviews

Richard Newman and James Mueller's Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia assembles a collection of insightful scholarly essays pivoting Philadelphia as the ideological, legislative, and social activist epicenter of the national abolitionist movement from the revolutionary era to the outbreak of the Civil War...

Published 7/25/2012

WILLS: George Henry Thomas (2012)

By: Wayne Hsieh Category: Book Reviews

All in all, Wills has made a fine contribution to Civil War studies with this biography of a comparatively understudied but profoundly important Union general...

Published 7/18/2012

HUGHES & RUSHING (eds.): Refugitta of Richmond (2011)

By: Elizabeth H. Turner Category: Book Reviews

Constance Cary Harrison's accounts of Civil War Richmond have supplied many a historian with an insider?s view of life in the Confederate capital... her memoir reveals a young woman on the cusp of maturity recounting a life she never expected to endure...

Published 7/18/2012

ARDEN & POWELL: Letters From the Storm (2010)

By: Ivy Farr McIntyre Category: Book Reviews

While heavy on military details, The Intimate Civil War Letters of Lt. J.A.H. Foster will also be of interest to social, gender, family, and local historians, as well as genealogists. The collection offers uncommon insight into sexuality in the period as well...

Published 7/11/2012

EMERSON: Giant in the Shadows (2012)

By: Harold Holzer Category: Book Reviews

A simply terrific researcher, Emerson has unearthed a breathtaking array of unknown facts and quotes about Robert, and has crafted this avalanche of detail into a truly absorbing account of his long life and times...

Published 7/11/2012

HOLZER, SYMONDS, & WILLIAMS (eds.): The Lincoln Assassination (2010)

By: Angela M. Zombek Category: Book Reviews

This book, with its focus on the perpetuated Lincoln myth through the recounting of his death and the obsession with the trial of the assassination conspirators, tells not only about the man himself, but also how he defined the American character and how he continues to influence American political values.