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29481RE: [civilwarwest] Re: great books

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  • Harry Smeltzer
    Dec 3, 2004

      Put me in the “Dave” column with regards to Robertson’s book.  Dave correctly refers to it as “hero worship” and I have often termed it a literary, er, um, geez, I don’t know if I can get this one past the monitors…

       

      Harry

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: DPowell334@... [mailto:DPowell334@...]
      Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 6:20 AM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: great books

       

      In a message dated 12/2/2004 9:06:08 PM Central Standard Time, basecat1@... writes:



      Steve,

      I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Robertson's book on Stonewall.  Easily one of the best Civil War Books I have ever read.  The last chapter of the book always sticks out with me, and it especially returned to my mind when the Muster group stopped by Guinea Station last June in Virginia.

      Hope all is well.



      I gotta disagree.

      I think it fine that Robertson did such a massive amount of work, but I think he failed in one key aspect - I think Robertson himself has admitted that he did not analyze Jackson's military skills and career that much, because he (Robertson) was not a professional soldier. Instead, he focused on Jackson as a person.

      To me, the one thing that made Jackson famous, an historical celebrity, as it were, was his military performance. Beyond that, you have a religious, mildly eccentric former soldier and math professor.

      Robertson, in ducking the hard questions of Jackson's military skills, failed a critical task of the biographer. While I thought the book was richly detailed, it doesn't really go beyond hero-worship to me.

      Dave Powell


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