A Worse Place Than Hell

Joined
Dec 12, 2020
This is a new book by John Matteson, a Pulitzer Prize winning author. It deals with the effect of Fredericksburg and the war on several people including Walt Whitman and Louisa May Allcott.

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Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
I've ordered the book and am awaiting delivery. I heard Dr. Matteson give a presentation of a Zoom broadcast and was so impressed that I sat right down a placed an order. He's covering the impact of the battle on 5 people--as well as Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott there are Benjamin Fuller (brother of feminist Margaret Fuller), Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Pelham.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Would you care to do a more thorough review of this book when done reading it?
@Kathy the history sleuth may have already read it. The presentation by Dr. Matteson that I saw is now on Youtube. If I enter the url, it will link in and I don't know if that's permissible. So, Google "Matteson" "a worse place than hell" and then choose VIDEO; you'll get a column of hits--choose the 6th (the first one on Youtube)
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
@Kathy the history sleuth may have already read it. The presentation by Dr. Matteson that I saw is now on Youtube. If I enter the url, it will link in and I don't know if that's permissible. So, Google "Matteson" "a worse place than hell" and then choose VIDEO; you'll get a column of hits--choose the 6th (the first one on Youtube)
Thanks, I will check that out.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Would you care to do a more thorough review of this book when done reading it?
I will thank you. Great so far. A great writer as we would expect. I'm reading about Virginia, Antietam to Appomatox in preparation for a trip to Virginia in June. I came across this reviewed in WSJ and ordered it from the library and it happened to show up. Fredericksburg is one of my stops.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Would you care to do a more thorough review of this book when done reading it?

"A Worse Place Than Hell" follows Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, John Pelham and Oliver Wendall Holmes and Benjamin Fuller through the events surrounding the Battle of Fredericksburg. It gives us a good idea of what life was like in the era, and what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War. It also brings in some surrounding personalities like Oliver Wendell Holmes father and Margaret Fuller and even JEB Stuart.
It becomes a great read as you go along. So well written and researched. The modern creeps in here and there in the form of the author's opinions. But he is a great writer and historian so his opinions can be respected.
I recommend this book. It gives us a good picture of the hospital culture in Washington DC and even the events surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation and Burnside's indecision.
Don't miss it!
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
I'm currently reading this book but it will take a long time to finish. This is because it is like a box of elegant chocolates that one drags out for as long as possible! It is beautifully written and it presents aspects & facets that are totally new. It's more of a social history than a military one in that it focuses on individuals rather than armies. I echo the recommendation of @Kathy the history sleuth heartily.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
I'm currently reading this book but it will take a long time to finish. This is because it is like a box of elegant chocolates that one drags out for as long as possible! It is beautifully written and it presents aspects & facets that are totally new. It's more of a social history than a military one in that it focuses on individuals rather than armies. I echo the recommendation of @Kathy the history sleuth heartily.
Yes, you are right. I had to have the library renew it. It does get to the point where you can't put it down when he finishes the runup to the battle. I enjoy the social history. I especially liked getting to know Walt Whitman better. We are exposed to his poetry as we study the Civil War and it's interesting to know what he experienced that caused him to write it. The author is a wonderful scholar. I expect I will read more of his books.
 
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