Will The Hard Hand of War Go Soft?

At last summer’s Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, a round table of scholars (including me) discussed Mark Grimsley’s The Hard Hand of War. For some people the highlight of the discussion (and certainly the most memorable takeaway) was when Megan Kate Nelson, arguing that the book had aged well and was still fresh in several respects, compared it to a Twinkie.

Now, we’ve heard of the Twinkie defense, but Twinkie scholarship? Yet people latched on to this phrase, most notably Kevin Levin. Mark embraced it as well.

Perhaps they spoke too soon. Now comes news that Hostess, the company that makes Twinkies, is in trouble. In fact, it is bankrupt, and a recent strike may kill it altogether.

What this means for the fate of Mark’s book … or Megan’s characterization … is well worth exploring by those people who have plenty of time to kill and nothing better to do.