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In 1997, John Stanchak, an editor at Cowles Enthusiast Media (now part of Primedia), realized his vision of “a publication that contained the best, most up-to-date scholarship on the [Civil] war, but was edited with the amateur historian in mind,” with the publication of Columbiad: A Quarterly Review of the War between the States. In the four years the journal was published, it strived to lessen the rift between the scholarly world of professional historians and the “popular” history with which the general reader is more familiar. Now, a selection of the essays that best represent the successful balance between “serious scholarship” and a narrative reading style preferred by the educated layman has been collected in The Ongoing Civil War.
The nine essays, written by such distinguished scholars as John Marszalek, Albert Castel, Archer Jones, Mark Snell, Noah Trudeau, and others, provide deeper insight into the war, introduce the general reader to unsung heroes, and correct some popular misrepresentations of history. They cover a range of topics as diverse as conflict among commanders, the supply runs vital to the Union victory at Gettysburg, the network of scouts and spies used by Robert E. Lee, and the painstaking process of organizing and publishing the Official Records. The synergy of sophisticated research combined with a compelling narrative style makes The Ongoing Civil War an enjoyable, informative work suitable for scholars and the general reader alike.
|The professional historian and "popular history"||13|
|"Old brains" was brainy after all||26|
|McClellan, von Clausewitz, and the politics of war||40|
|Franklin Pierce and the Civil War||58|
|Before the wilderness : what Lee knew||98|
|History in hindsight : William T. Sherman and Sooy Smith||109|
|To "mold the judgment of history"||139|