40 thoughts on “What Book Should You Read Next?

  1. freedmenspatrol November 12, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    Really looking forward to Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told. It’s just sitting there on the desk, giving me these come-hither looks. I haven’t got there yet because I’m reading a few other things for Eric Foner’s MOOC. I learned about it via the controversy over how the Economic reviewed it as coming down too hard on slaveholders and every time I see Baptist lecture or give an interview he supplies me with more reason to read him.

    • freedmenspatrol November 12, 2014 / 3:51 pm

      I meant to say the Economist’s review, not the Economic. Sorry for the typing quality. 🙂

      • Jimmy Dick November 12, 2014 / 6:33 pm

        I’m ordering Foner’s Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution for that part of the class. It will be upcoming on my read list after I finish Freehling’s The Road to Disunion Vol. II and Ketchum’s Saratoga, and the term papers and finals for this semester. Plus the quantification stuff I am forced to do for the next six weeks. If I survive this stretch I will be home free to the final degree!

      • freedmenspatrol November 12, 2014 / 6:50 pm

        Massively Open Online Course. You can’t take it for credit, but you get some of the experience of actually learning from the teacher without also getting the massive tuition bill. Foner’s is built around lectures he gave at Columbia last year, with occasional discussion sections and conversations with a grad student.

      • rortensie November 13, 2014 / 5:38 am

        What freedmenspatrol said above. I’ve enrolled but haven’t made it past week 2 because of my work load. You can find the MOOC here: http://edx.org/. This is only the second one I have every taken. The first was a yearly academic requirement and I found that you tend to get “lost” in the crowd as there are hundreds of people enrolled sometimes.

    • Pat Young November 12, 2014 / 7:32 pm

      I enjoyed Baptist but there were frayed ends.

  2. Andy Hall November 12, 2014 / 1:42 pm

    Another vote for The Half Has Never Been Told.

  3. Ian November 12, 2014 / 1:50 pm

    My reading list (stack of books) consists from top to bottom:
    A River Never Sleeps – Roderick L. Haig-Brown
    The Korsun Pocket -Zetterling & Frankson
    The Guns at Last Light – Rick Atkinson
    The Real Custer – Jaames S. Robbins
    The Struggle for The Bliss Farm at Gettysburg – Elwood Christ
    Just ordered two books on Stones River battle
    All I can do is pick ’em off one at a time.

    • Jimmy Dick November 12, 2014 / 6:34 pm

      Atkinson’s book is top notch.

      • Christopher Shelley November 12, 2014 / 10:17 pm

        I loved the first two. I haven’t got to Guns at Last Light yet.

        • R E Watson November 13, 2014 / 7:44 am

          The trilogy is the best retelling of WWII hands down !

      • John Foskett November 13, 2014 / 8:12 am

        Agree. He’s now tackling the AWI.

        • Jimmy Dick November 13, 2014 / 10:42 am

          Any word on that work yet? I’m sure that would be a fascinating read.

  4. rortensie November 12, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    I’m waiting to dig into Holzer’s “Lincoln and the Power of the Press” as soon as I can finish Anderson’s mammoth volume on the French and Indian War.

      • rortensie November 13, 2014 / 5:40 am

        I’m enjoying it so far. Reading it as its a required text for a course I am about ready to teach in February.

    • Pat Young November 12, 2014 / 7:32 pm

      A very interesting book. I recommend it heartily.

      • rortensie November 13, 2014 / 5:39 am

        Thanks Pat. I have to get through “Crucible of War” as I am slated to teach a course on the French and Indian War in February. I haven’t read anything on the Seven Year War since my undergraduate work…..

  5. Mike Rogers November 12, 2014 / 3:57 pm

    My 1866 copy of Harper’s Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion (volume 1) gifted to me by my in-laws. Physically, it’s a large book at 17 x 12 inches which pretty much means I need to vacate the recliner for the kitchen table. And, I’m mostly interested in the interpretation of things as the authors saw them in the late 1860s.

  6. Noma November 12, 2014 / 4:33 pm

    Ulysses S. Grant and the Fruits of Victory – by Brooks Simpson. “Why haven’t your read it?” Has not yet arrived in a bookstore near me.

    • Bob D'Amato November 13, 2014 / 9:22 am

      what about amazon.com: if it exists they have it.

  7. Joshism November 12, 2014 / 5:33 pm

    Up next I’m planning to read “Lee’s Army During the Overland Campaign: A Numerical Study” which has intrigued me since I heard about it’s release. Everything I’ve heard about it makes it sound groundbreaking.

    A little further down the road, Rhea’s Overland Campaign series which I simply haven’t gotten to yet because in recent years most of my Civil War reading has involved battles earlier in the war.

    I did finally get to Castel’s “Decision in the West” earlier this year and thought it was excellent.

    Pretty much always the answer to “Why haven’t you read it yet?” is “Because there are over 900 books (all subjects, not just Civil War) on my Goodreads To Read list and I only get through about 50/year!”

    • hankc9174 November 12, 2014 / 7:24 pm

      ‘the last citadel’ is the best description of the 10 months of Petersburg…

  8. Bob Nelson November 12, 2014 / 5:37 pm

    I just finished the books that Beth got me last year for Christmas, which included “Team of Rivals,” a bio of Don Carlos Buell, the latest bio of Lincoln and a few others. She asked me for a list for this year. So, I posted a question to “study” and “cwhistory2.” Put it as a “requirement” that they be off-the-chart kind of things — no bios, no battle or campaign books (I cannot possibly tolerate another Overland Campaign book no matter how good it is). Here’s what was suggested. Holzer’s “Lincoln and the Press,” Waugh’s “Reelecting Lincoln” that covers the 1864 election, Johnson’s “Writing the Gettysburg Address” and Cook’s “Troubled Commemoration,” which covers the 1960’s centennial celebration. Don’t know if this helps or not but that’s my “wish list.” Will probably get them all. Woohoo!!!!

  9. jclark82 November 12, 2014 / 5:58 pm

    I’m eager to read “Hard Luck
    Lloyd.” It’s a biography of 1960s and 70s racer Lloyd Ruby. He raced virtually every sort of car with a great amount of success, but could never win the Indianapolis 500.

    I love that era in motorsport so this promises to be very interesting.

  10. hankc9174 November 12, 2014 / 7:19 pm

    “The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era” by Douglas R. Egerton, at Le Moyne College, looks to be a straightforward and deep account of the real civil war…

  11. Pat Young November 12, 2014 / 7:41 pm

    John Witt’s Lincoln’s Code is the book. I started it several times but my schedule did not allow me the time to adequately come to terms with it. I intend to read it by Thanksgiving.

    I want to read it because I used to do quite a bit of work with Common Article 3 (or was it 4) of the Geneva Conventions and I wanted to look at the original codification of the law of war in Lieber’s Code. The fact that Lieber was an immigrant was gravy. The code was a major intellectual product of the Civil War.

    Plus I needed to read a book where Vattel was referenced a lot.

    • rortensie November 13, 2014 / 5:35 am

      Pat, Shelly Richard Hartigan’s “Lieber’s Code and the Law of War” (Chicago: Precedent, 1983) is pretty good as well. There are also a few articles from the 80s and early 90s dealing with Lieber’s Code as well.

      • Pat Young November 13, 2014 / 9:29 am


  12. Bob D'Amato November 12, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    Founder’s son fresh off the press.

  13. Brad November 12, 2014 / 10:04 pm

    Holzer’s new book on a Lincoln and the Power of the Press.

  14. Cotton Boll Conspiracy November 13, 2014 / 7:10 am

    “Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World,” by Margaret MacMillan. It’s been on my shelf for at least three years and I know it will be a fascinating read, but I guess because of its size I keep “finding” other books to read first.

    • freedmenspatrol November 13, 2014 / 3:58 pm

      I really enjoyed that book. Even gave it as a gift.

      • Cotton Boll Conspiracy November 13, 2014 / 8:26 pm

        I think 2015 will be the year I pick it up and take it on. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Joshism November 13, 2014 / 7:17 pm

      Outstanding book! Her recent “War That Ended Peace” about the causes of WW1 is not as good as “Paris 1919” but also well worth the read as a broad and pretty fair treatment of the factors leading up to the war.

  15. Christopher Shelley November 13, 2014 / 10:56 am

    I’m going to start Freedom National by James Oakes as soon as I finish Disunion 2 by Freehling. I haven’t read it yet because I’ve only just come back to the Civil War after many years focused on environmental and Indian history. If I could find a Simpson or Levin book at Powell’s City of Books (the biggest bookstore west of the Mississippi), I’d be starting that instead. Soon come.

  16. John Foskett November 13, 2014 / 4:46 pm

    Tim Smith’s book on Shiloh as soon as it’s available. Excellent author who knows that battlefield and battle as well as anybody and will give the second day its due.

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