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Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

7 Ratings: 2.1
A book released February 22, 1999 by Tony Horwitz

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Tags: Books
Author: Tony Horwitz
Publisher: Vintage
Date Published: February 22, 1999
1 review about Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from...

Interesting take on a complex topic

  • Jun 21, 2010

Tony Horowitz was enamored of the Civil War as a child. With roots in Eastern Europe, he was inexplicably drawn to the Civil War. As an adult, his interest was reawakened with the (literal) arrival of a group of reenactors in his backyard. Horowitz sets out on a quest to answer the question: why, for so many Americans, is the Civil War still alive and intriguing? Why are Americans so obsessed with a war that happened 150 years ago - and for some, never ended? As a Civil War reenactor, I had to pick up this book, and was amazed at the breadth of research displayed by the author.

For certain, the Civil War is not an issue without its complexity. Horowitz shows no squeamishness when delving into his research. He traverses from one part of the South to another, seamlessly weaving meetings with the Daughters of the Confederacy into nights spent sleeping on the cold, hard ground with reenactors. He visits museums where obscure Confederate artifacts are glorified, and meetings of the Ku Klux Klan. He meets a wide cast of characters, sometimes crazy, sometimes quirky, but all of whom have something poignant to say about the Civil War's mark on our past as a nation.

What impressed me most about Horowitz is that very fact - he does not vilify or judge those he meets, no matter how angry, crazy, or obsessed they are. The book is written with the quiet reflection of a journalist. His commitment to the questions he asks is evident, and the conclusions he comes to are thought-provoking. The best part of this book is the questions it raises for the reader - it will leave you with a good "think"!

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Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
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