Sunday, August 24, 2008

David Williams' New Book

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has an interview today with Dr. David Williams of VSU on his new book "Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War". Those who wax nostalgic for the Old South are in for a bit of a shock. One of the Q&A's made me smile:

Q: Have the Sons of Confederate Veterans been to see you?
A: Yes. They didn’t really deny anything I had to say, but they weren’t real happy to hear it. I told them, “Well, I’m not making this up.”
One of the facts that was sure to be troubling to the grown men who dress up as Johnny Reb and march around on weekends is that there were nearly a half-million southerners who served in the Union Army. Those referendums taken when the individual states voted to secede from the Union? Stolen. There were food riots at home and mass desertions from the field.

If you read his earlier work, A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom like I have, much of this looks familiar. I contacted Dr. Williams to find out what would be new or different in this book and he was kind enough to reply:

Not really a great deal new in terms of themes, but new in terms of focus. I take much what I touch on in People's History with regard to southern dissent and expand on it considerably to highlight the reasons and ways in which dissenters increase in numbers and impact throughout the war.

Looks like I am going to have to buy a copy. I'll publish a review later.