News and Notes, November 14, 2012

A tour around and about uncovered the following:

  • Andy Hall’s causing trouble again. In a post that I thought would draw far more attention than it has, he explores the possibility that Jefferson Davis’s son joined the United States Navy. How can that be, you ask? Well, read the piece.
  • I’d been waiting to hear what Dimitri Rotov thought of my new book, The Civil War in the East (which will be coming out in paperback next year from Potomac Books).  Wait no more:

At about 176 pages, this is what a short history is meant to be: erudite, pungent, interesting, integrative, analytical, and engaging for deep readers already familiar with the material. I cannot think of another short history that lives up this purpose, although publishers keep issuing them. A great many controversies and issues are compressed throughout and that requires reader trust. It’s a lot to ask for from strangers. Myself, having seen Simpson handle evidence on a great many issues on USENET years ago, I’ll vouch for him, if that nudges you towards a good read. His justice to the record tends towards exceptional, although it is not transparent in this brief format. Some of his characterizations may irritate, but consider that the tax you pay for a top notch essay written for sophisticates like yourselves. It’s a nice concentrate of the whole Simpsonian gestalt. This is a major author in a field generally bereft of major authors and Simpson is always worth your time.

  • Dimitri suggests that other reviewers concur with my overall assessment of H. W. Brands’s new Grant biography.
  • We have a new blog out there: Bummer. Civil War Bummer, to be exact.
  • Speaking of books that will appear next year, try this.
  • A useful reminder of the pitfalls of political prognostication by a fellow blogger whose politics blinded him to facts (how ironic).  See here and here.