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Posted December 25, 2011
Only for the Serious student of the Civil War
The earliest biography of Jackson, is written by a theologian, who served briefly and very ineptly, as AAG on his staff. By the author¿s own admission, the book is polemic. It must also be remembered that in the 19th century most biographies were highly subjective and sought to place their topic is the best possible light. Jackson¿s wife, Anna asked Robert E Lee¿s opinion of the work and in his most diplomatic manner he was able to point out many factual errors in the claims of Dr. Dabney.
The book is difficult to read, rambling, at times even bazaar. There are numerous Jackson biographies that are more objective, more readable, more accurate but there is value in reading Dabney because of his relationship with Jackson.
I would recommend this book only for the serious civil war student, it has little value for the casual reader and certainly does not paint an accurate picture of Jackson.. If you are only planning to read one biography of Jackson this is definitely not the one!
My vote for the two best available Jackson books are Henderson¿s Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War because of the author¿s military background; and Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I Robertson which is and will be for a long time the standard of Jackson biography.
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Posted December 19, 2013