Too scattered for this student of the Civil War.
Webb Garrison's Curiosities of the Civil War: Strange Stories, Infamous Characters, and Bizarre Events is a well-researched , hefty book that does deliver what it promises - a collection of odd things about the Civil War.
I read a lot of history and it seems to me that there are two main ways to organize a book about history. You can go with the more traditional timeline approach - tell the story in the order that it happened (narrative history). Or, you can go with themes - study the themes of the history as the writer sees them. For example, a Civil War historian can look into the evolution of military technology and techniques or focus on civil rights in the North and the South. Most historians try for a combination of the two and pick several themes and follow them as they tell a narrative history.
|John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865)|
For me, the randomness was too much. I like a story to be told as I am learning my odd and interesting facts. This style just could not hold my interest for more than two or three pages at a time.
This is not a book for the Civil War novice - this book will teach you nothing but a series of facts with no analysis, no interconnecting themes, no narrative (It does, however, have a very nice index). If you are looking for a book to pick up, read a couple of pages and then put back down, this is it. Otherwise, well, find something else.
I reviewed this book in conjunction with Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program. I was not compensated for this review. The opinions expressed are mine.
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Curiosities of the Civil War.
This book was reviewed on March 9, 2011.