Happy 20th Anniversary 'Confederates In The Attic'

Bruce Vail

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#1
It was 20 years ago that Confederates In The Attic by Tony Horwirtz was published to widespread acclaim.

I know this because I was in the library last week, saw it on the shelf, and decided to give it a try. My copy was a first edition from 1998 and showed all the signs of having been been read dozens of times since the library added it to its collection.

I quite enjoyed reading. It is considerably lighter than my normal Civil War fare (although Attic deals with some pretty serious themes) and counts for me as pleasant summer beach reading.

Horwitz, a war correspondent for a major newspaper, returns to the United States after several years abroad in war-torn locales. He seeks to re-connect with America by re-visiting the Civil War in a series of trips around the South., visiting battlefields, museums, etc., and interviewing modern-day Americans still consumed by the War. Horwitz writes with a light touch, and his prose is a pleasure to read.

Happy 20th Anniversary to Tony and the Confederates in his Attic!
 

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Pat Young

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#2
It was 20 years ago that Confederates In The Attic by Tony Horwirtz was published to widespread acclaim.

I know this because I was in the library last week, saw it on the shelf, and decided to give it a try. My copy was a first edition from 1998 and showed all the signs of having been been read dozens of times since the library added it to its collection.

I quite enjoyed reading. It is considerably lighter than my normal Civil War fare (although Attic deals with some pretty serious themes) and counts for me as pleasant summer beach reading.

Horwitz, a war correspondent for a major newspaper, returns to the United States after several years abroad in war-torn locales. He seeks to re-connect with America by re-visiting the Civil War in a series of trips around the South., visiting battlefields, museums, etc., and interviewing modern-day Americans still consumed by the War. Horwitz writes with a light touch, and his prose is a pleasure to read.

Happy 20th Anniversary to Tony and the Confederates in his Attic!
It is a funny and thought provoking work. I read it 20 years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.
 

Bruce Vail

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#6
AFAIK Hodge is not too active in reenacting these days, but you can follow him at robertleehodge.com.

I've heard that a lot of the "hard-core" stuff in the book was Hodge putting one over on Tony Horwitz, and I can totally believe that.
cita-cover-Copy-194x300.jpg


Robert was on the cover of Horwitz's book. Fooled both me and my wife that it was a real CW photo.
 
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#8
A most enjoyable read, and one that I've gone back to 2-3 times since first published.
I've recommended it to many friends who don't think we're still fighting that **** war. In some ways, Horowitz presaged the events of the past few years in disowning the ACW history.
 
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#10
I have read several books by Horwitz; he takes a jaundiced view of every subject about which he writes. He provides good entertainment but nothing of substance.
 

CMWinkler

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#11
Robert Hodge lives in Nashville. He's doing well. We've been talking about research he's doing about Hood's Texas Brigade. He's a great guy. I can also recommend his movies. I really like the Perryville and Spottsylvania ones. I've not seen Franklin yet. Rob and I get together once in a while and have adult beverages.
 
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#12
Robert Hodge lives in Nashville. He's doing well. We've been talking about research he's doing about Hood's Texas Brigade. He's a great guy. I can also recommend his movies. I really like the Perryville and Spottsylvania ones. I've not seen Franklin yet. Rob and I get together once in a while and have adult beverages.
I would so love in on those get togethers! I bet there are some incredible stories!

I still enjoy the book a lot, as I did when it first came out. Yes, some of the modern events surrounding the discussion are dated, but the central question is - I believe - still relevant.

He provides good entertainment but nothing of substance.
I'm curious - why do you think so?
 

Joshism

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#13
I'm rereading Confederates In The Attic, having originally read it in 2003 as assigned reading in a Civil War In Popular Culture university class. A great deal has happened since then, not just in the world but in life, especially as a student of history in general and the Civil War in particular.

The ludicrous stuff with the reenactors I'm skipping. Many of the parts about the Neoconfederates encountered across the South I now find outright uncomfortable to read in a way they weren't before.

The chapter about Shelby Foote remains fascinating. In particular, I find this part a particularly astute statement:

His great-grandfather had opposed secession but fought without hesitation for the South. "Just as I would have" Foote said. "I'd be with my people, right or wrong. If I was against slavery, I'd still be with the South. I'm a man, my society needs me, here I am. (pg 149)

Obviously, that sentiment wasn't universal since there were Southern Unionists (or perhaps more accurately those people had a different opinion about who "their people" were). But the obligation of tribal loyalty was certainly prevalent, especially in the South.
 

Bruce Vail

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#14
I'm rereading Confederates In The Attic, having originally read it in 2003 as assigned reading in a Civil War In Popular Culture university class. A great deal has happened since then, not just in the world but in life, especially as a student of history in general and the Civil War in particular.

The ludicrous stuff with the reenactors I'm skipping. Many of the parts about the Neoconfederates encountered across the South I now find outright uncomfortable to read in a way they weren't before.

The chapter about Shelby Foote remains fascinating. In particular, I find this part a particularly astute statement:

His great-grandfather had opposed secession but fought without hesitation for the South. "Just as I would have" Foote said. "I'd be with my people, right or wrong. If I was against slavery, I'd still be with the South. I'm a man, my society needs me, here I am. (pg 149)

Obviously, that sentiment wasn't universal since there were Southern Unionists (or perhaps more accurately those people had a different opinion about who "their people" were). But the obligation of tribal loyalty was certainly prevalent, especially in the South.
'My Country, Right or Wrong' was a bumper sticker from the days of the Vietnam War. Seems to have had a life-long influence on Foote.
 

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