Here is my latest book review, published in American Nineteenth Century History, Volume 20, no. 2 (216-217). If you're unable to read the review from the link here are a few of my thoughts from the review. This volume was edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon as part of a series for the United States Capitol Historical Society. All of the essays were interesting but in particular I'd like to highlight Lesley Gordon's chapter on the Fire Zouaves, a New York army regiment comprised of Irish working-class men. Gordon's chapter shows us how congressional committees could criticize the president, question military strategy, and find politically expedient targets to channel northern fury over the debacle at the first battle of Bull Run. Similarly, Fergus Bordewich's probing analysis of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War underscores the importance of civilian oversight of the military in a democracy. Together these chapters raise important questions while encouraging historians to consider whether they should devote more attention to congressional action when narrating the Civil War.
Leave a Reply.
Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. I neither speak for my employers, nor do I require my students to agree with the thoughts expressed here. Opinions are my own.