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1 Beaverton Americana- Southern States

This title in other editions

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

by

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.

Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.

In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'

Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.

Review:

"In this sparkling book Horwitz explores some of our culture's myths with the irreverent glee of a small boy hurling snowballs at a beaver hat....An important contribution to understanding how echoes of the Civil War have never stopped." USA Today

Review:

"[B]y turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating....a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out." James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

Review:

"A book that begins as a thoughtful and entertaining investigation of the enduring Southern fascination with the Civil War becomes an extended, and not entirely friendly or fair, survey of the racial views of white Southerners.... He is right to argue that white Southerners must exorcise the legacy of slavery and racism that has troubled the history of the South. He goes too far when he suggests that they ought also to disavow their ancestors and repudiate their past." National Review, Mark G. Malvasi

Review:

"Confederates in the Attic is the freshest book about divisiveness in America that I have read in some time....A splendid commemoration of the war and its Legacy....This rattling good read is an eyes-open, humorously no-nonsense survey of complicated Americans." The New York Times Book Review, Roy Blount Jr.

Review:

"Hilariously funny." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

Review:

"[A] personal, penetrating glimpse at a slice of America many of us didn't know existed or would rather believe did not....Horwitz explores the intense fascination of the 'hard cores' with all things Civil War while coming to grips with his own, with neither judgment nor ridicule." The Boston Globe, Douglas Bailey

About the Author

Tony Horwitz first wrote about the South and the Civil War as a third-grader in Maryland when he pencilled a book that began: "The War was started when after all the states had sececed (sic)." He went on to write about war full-time as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, reporting on conflicts in Bosnia, the Middle East, Africa, and Northern Ireland. After a decade abroad, Horwitz moved to a crossroads in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where he now works as a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Confederates in the Attic is Horwitz's third book, following the national bestseller, Baghdad Without A Map and other Misadventures in Arabia, and One For The Road: Hitchhiking Through the Australian Outback, to be reissued this year by Vintage. His awards include the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1995, and the Overseas Press Club Award for best foreign news reporting in 1992, for his coverage of the Gulf War. Before becoming a reporter, Horwitz lived and worked in rural Kentucky and Mississippi and produced a PBS documentary about Southern timber workers.

A graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Horwitz and his wife — Geraldine Brooks, also a journalist and author — have a young son, Nathaniel. They live in Waterford, Virginia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Hera, February 12, 2014 (view all comments by Hera)
'Confederates in the Attic' is a joy to read . Funny ,while at the same time touching , author Tony Horwitz enters into the strange world of Civil War re-enactors . He discloses the tricks of the trade , the differences between the amateurs and the career re-enactors . Entire families compete for prized battlefield placement , authentic costumes,food and arms . Many have become extras in movies and television and the competition is fierce . Friendships are formed ,feuds begun ,in the quest for battlefield positioning . Personal lives are planned around famous battle anniversaries , camps set up ,and all connection with the present world is left behind .
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Nancy Lambert, January 6, 2011 (view all comments by Nancy Lambert)
Delightful read! Couldn't put it down. Funny, honest and page turner. I recommend it highly.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
BSullivan, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by BSullivan)
Horwitz knows how to bring cold stone monuments alive and into fascinating relief against a living, breathing Civil War brought down the ages and nursed in our Southern fringes. Dispensing with an historian's conceit, he artlessly jumps into the world of hard-core re-enactors and searches out primary Confederate texts, first-hand accounts, and real-life characters for a sometimes humorous but always respectful exploration of an American mindset.
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View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780679758334
Subtitle:
Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
Author:
Horwitz, Tony
Publisher:
Vintage
Location:
New York :
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Southern states
Subject:
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-
Subject:
Horwitz, Tony - Journeys - Southern States
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
US History-1800 to Civil War
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Departures
Series Volume:
FS-081-98
Publication Date:
19990222
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.12x5.16x.95 in. .69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Americana » Southern States
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Vintage - English 9780679758334 Reviews:
"Review" by , "In this sparkling book Horwitz explores some of our culture's myths with the irreverent glee of a small boy hurling snowballs at a beaver hat....An important contribution to understanding how echoes of the Civil War have never stopped."
"Review" by , "[B]y turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating....a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out."
"Review" by , "A book that begins as a thoughtful and entertaining investigation of the enduring Southern fascination with the Civil War becomes an extended, and not entirely friendly or fair, survey of the racial views of white Southerners.... He is right to argue that white Southerners must exorcise the legacy of slavery and racism that has troubled the history of the South. He goes too far when he suggests that they ought also to disavow their ancestors and repudiate their past."
"Review" by , "Confederates in the Attic is the freshest book about divisiveness in America that I have read in some time....A splendid commemoration of the war and its Legacy....This rattling good read is an eyes-open, humorously no-nonsense survey of complicated Americans."
"Review" by , "Hilariously funny."
"Review" by , "[A] personal, penetrating glimpse at a slice of America many of us didn't know existed or would rather believe did not....Horwitz explores the intense fascination of the 'hard cores' with all things Civil War while coming to grips with his own, with neither judgment nor ridicule."
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