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Posts Tagged ‘civil war’

A weekend reading review…because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!  And also for your stay at home, “shelter in place,” etc, with the virus.

 

Jeff D. Dickey. Rising in Flames.  New York, NY: Pegasus Books, June 5th 2018. 400 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

When I say “Sherman’s March to Sea,” what do you think of?  I know many images and connotation is stirred up when General Sherman is brought up.  This is a rather infamous military campaign led by General William Sherman going into the Confederate South for the purpose of sabotaging the economic capabilities of the South to feed and equip their Confederate Army.  This was quite a controversy then and also controversial even for our day and age for non-Southerners given the kind of tactics Sherman pursued in the war.  Most of what I have heard has largely been from the perspective of the South and also popular imagination from the movie Gone with the Wind.  The author argues that there’s a need to understand what happened from the perspective of also those in the North and Sherman’s army.

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I haven’t been able to post weekend book reviews of Nonfictions in a while so here is one!  Why is this posted?  Because Pastors need a break from heavy theological readings too.

tried-by-war-abraham-lincoln-as-commander-in-chief-james-mcpherson

James M. McPherson.  Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, October 7th, 2008. 329 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

The author James McPherson is a distinguished Civil War historian and author of books on the topic of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.  In this book he narrows his focus to Abraham Lincoln as the military leader of the Union in terms of the Constitutionally given role of Commander in Chief.  In the beginning of the book McPherson made the point that while there are many books about Abraham Lincoln as a politician and there are many books on the military dimension of the Civil War yet surprisingly there’s not that much discussion of Lincoln as the Civilian commander of the military.  Certainly this book makes an important contribution.

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This is part of my attempt of reviewing non-Christian, non-theological books in light of a biblical worldview.

War on the Waters Union and Confederate Navies

(Available on Amazon)

After listening to lectures over at Mises Institute on the economics of the Civil War I became more intrigued with the role of the Navy and the embargo’s contribution to the defeat of the South by the North. This book is more of the operational side of the Naval war between the south and the North. Since I am reading this book in light of my Christian worldview, I can’t help but to realize that the outcome of any battle is never certain even if on paper it looks good–victory of any battle truly rest in the hands of the Lord as the book of Proverbs teaches. Nevertheless I did appreciate this work and it’s profile of the men who served on both sides, their bravery, leadership, motivation and skill in Naval warfare. The most intriguing part of the book was the author’s observation of how the US Navy had more percentage of African Americans than the Army and of course in contrast with their Southern counterpart; the book goes on to say that due to the condition of fighting on ship that makes segregation difficult, one see among those in the Navy experiencing a change of heart where service members began seeing African Americans more favorably than those in the other services (since units were often segregated). The author even had accounts of Northern Naval Officers who were pro-slavery and Aristocratic shifting their views after serving alongside “Contrabands” (the term during the war for freed slaves). Reading this as a Christian, one is reminded of the fact that though there are different ethnicity yet God has made us all as humans–and that being human the human condition we share with those of other groups are at times surprisingly the same though the context might differ.  The other fascinating part of the book is the fact that I’m reminded of how the human condition is still the same back then as it is now: every era has their incompetent officers, leaders who exercise poor judgement in warfare, hardships, fog of war, etc. At the end of the day this was a good recreational read that takes my mind off of ministry reading and apologetics.

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