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 9/14/2016

GRAMM: Sharpsburg (2015)

By: Chris Mackowski Category: Book Reviews

Creative writers can comment on history in ways that historians never can; they can reveal truths about history that historians can never expose.

Published 9/7/2016

HESS: Braxton Bragg (2016)

By: Nate Buman Category: Book Reviews

Hess asserts that Bragg did the best that he could with what he had at his disposal. He argues successfully that no other southern commander could have done better due to the overwhelming territory that Bragg had to defend...and the lack of reliable generals under his command.

Published 8/31/2016

BRETZGER: Observing Hancock at Gettysburg (2016)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

Gettysburg has defined Hancock's career more than any other engagement.

Published 8/24/2016

SOKOLOSKY & SMITH: "To Prepare for Sherman's Coming" (2015)

By: Thomas M. Grace Category: Book Reviews

The authors display a mastery of the battlefield's swampy terrain...their study offers more than yet another drums and bugles account of a Civil War battle.

Published 8/17/2016

GALLAGHER & JANNEY (eds.): Cold Harbor to the Crater (2015)

By: Nate Buman Category: Book Reviews

...offers a concise, approachable view of the end of the Overland Campaign, introducing several thoughtful examples of just how uncertain the war's outcome remained in 1864.

Published 8/10/2016

McCARDLE: A Just and Holy Cause? (2016)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Marcus Bethune Ely was a dutiful soldier, but no diehard Confederate.

Published 8/3/2016

WOODWORTH & GREAR (eds.): The Tennessee Campaign of 1864 (2016)

By: Ben H. Severance Category: Book Reviews

In the dying days of the Confederacy, the ill-fated Army of Tennessee embarked on a great forlorn hope to destroy a numerically superior foe, capture a heavily fortified city, and turn the war around.

Published 7/27/2016

CONLIN: One Nation Divided by Slavery (2015)

By: Kristen Epps Category: Book Reviews

This well-written, timely monograph enriches our understanding of the sectional conflict, the fluctuating nature of nationalism, and slavery's role in the memory of the American Revolution.

Published 7/20/2016

KURTZ: Excommunicated from the Union (2015)

By: William S. Cossen Category: Book Reviews

This slim, well-written volume offers a straightforward argument that should move the historiographical debate in a number of subjects: from the role of religion in the war and the significance of ethnic identity among soldiers, to the place of Catholics in the wider American society...

Published 7/20/2016

EGAN: The Immortal Irishman (2016)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

Egan relates Meagher's steadfastness as commander of the Irish Brigade—steadfastness in the face of the mass slaughter of his men in battle after battle.