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Articles by Neal West

Posted on Apr 16, 2015 in Books and Movies

Crucible of Command – Book Review

Crucible of Command – Book Review

A review of William C. Davis’ ‘Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee’ finds it compares favorably with previous dual biographies of these men and, indeed, surpasses earlier books in some respects.

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Posted on Mar 8, 2013 in Books and Movies

The Civil War in Color – Book Review

“The Civil War in Color” is a fascinating coffee-table sized book that adds life to “dusty images of a dustier past.” Period photographs have been electronically “cleaned up” to improve image quality and then colorized with careful attention to detail.

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Posted on Sep 11, 2012 in Books and Movies

We Have the War Upon Us – Book Review

‘We Have the War Upon Us,’ by William J. Cooper, examines the role played by moderates and conservatives, in addition to the extremists, in starting the Civil War. It reads more like a political thriller than a historical textbook and excels as both.

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Posted on Aug 1, 2012 in Books and Movies

For the Common Defense – Book Review

This third edition of ‘For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607-2012’ includes new chapters on the Korean and Vietnam wars, reflecting new research since the 1994 edition, and adds wars of the last 18 years.

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Posted on May 15, 2012 in Books and Movies

True Crime in the Civil War – Book Review

‘True Crime in the Civil War’ by Tobin T. Buhk covers a wide range of criminal activities related to the war, some well known and some that are not. The author examines multiple original sources and tries to mediate conflicting accounts.

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Posted on Mar 9, 2012 in Books and Movies

The Battle of First Bull Run – Manassas Campaign July 16-22, 1861: Illustrated Atlas and Battlefield Guide – Book Review

The Battle of First Bull Run–Manassas Campaign July 16–22, 1861: An Illustrated Atlas and Battlefield Guide. Blaikie Hines. American Patriot Press, 2011. 225 pages. 82 maps, 500+ photographs, bibliography, index. Paperback: $39.95. As a volunteer at Virginia’s Manassas National Battlefield Park, you can probably imagine that I have quite a collection of reference books on the two battles fought on the hills outside Manassas in 1861 and 1862. You can also imagine that I begged for a chance to review The Battle of First Bull Run–Manassas Campaign: July 16–22, 1861 – an Illustrated Atlas and Battlefield Guide. Prostration before my editor was well worth the effort. In his introduction, Blaikie Hines, Connecticut native and author of Civil War Volunteer Sons of Connecticut (American Patriot Press, 2002), relates how he became enthralled with the iconic battlefield of Manassas (Bull Run) during a visit in 2003. Hines then spent the next seven years collecting photographs and researching the battle. The result of his passion is the impressive The Battle of...

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Posted on Mar 18, 2011 in Books and Movies

Shadow of Shiloh – Book Review

“Shadow of Shiloh” is a well-documented and long-overdue biography of Gen. Lew Wallace, focusing on whether or not his tardy arrival on the field at Shiloh deserves to hang over his reputation like a shadow.

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Posted on Jun 15, 2010 in Books and Movies

Outnumbered – Book Review

A review of Cormac O’Brien’s book Outnumbered: Incredible Stories of History’s Most Surprising Battlefield Upsets praises the author’s analyses and the panache of his writing.

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