(actually two things: ) A. Never ever ever again pre-order a book without physically looking and going through it. A good six months ago, Amazon sent me an alert e-mail that a new book on Pickett's Charge, Pickett's Charge: A New Look at Gettysburg’s Final Attack. A New Look at Gettysburg's Final Attack, by Phillip Thomas Tucker, will be published this August, and offered a good deal on publication pre-orders. Looking up the guy and seeing that he is actually a Ph.D. historian and wrote a book on Barksdale's doings at Gettysburg (which also looked interesting) at that price, pre-order was a non-issue. The book was published the 16th and arrived pretty close to that date, but travel obligations etc. did not allow me to have even a look. This week I am in Philly, and having a 3 hr RT train commute, I had the opportunity to start it. Saying that I am disappointed in a lot of respects is an understatement. First of all, I do not like the tone of the guy: He really is talking about all the "mythology", including the Lost Cause mythology and how that made romantic heroes out of the Virginians by making the Pickett's Charge attempt look suicidal while it was Lee's master-plan that should worked, if executed properly. And then goes ahead and embraces the part of the "Lost Cause Mythology" that he likes, including the deification of Lee and the gross denigration of Longstreet, even at a petty personal level with passages like this: And if that were not enough, not only he espouces the Bachelder Mythology regarding the Copse of Trees, with zero references, other than things like Wikipedia and references to books published after 1980, he shoots down other potential theories (like the Ziegler's Grove theories) calling them "revisionisn" and "speculation" (of course, utilizing no references), but even one ups Bachelder by extending them to include impossible fantasies (talking about revisionism and speculation.) Ergo: Cannot make it up. In his words: ...the copse to serve as an elevated beacon [...] for thousands of Stuart's cavalry from the east. (and, yes, I torture my books - but it is pencil) I barely made it though the first chapter and the 2 preliminary chapter, but this is not a good one. In addition to the inadequate references, the speculation, the pro Lee agenda (instead of the neutrality of an historian,) and the bizarre fantasy thesis regarding Stuart attacking the Copse of Trees from behind (heck, he'd capture Meade on his way too; this might be coming,) it is full of factual mistakes (eg. other than the above regarding Ziegler's grove's size, saying that Ziegler's grove is in lower ground that the CoT at some point or saying that Lee saw with binoculars from the Seminary Ridge that the US had no fortifications by the copse of trees - 2 wrongs in that statement) and inconsistencies (even at some point he negates the statement that the CoT are at higher ground than Ziegler's grove; also he has a timeline of the battle in which he says that Reynolds secured the high ground - at a time after he has him killed.) And I do not like his style. He writes like he has a chip on his shoulder or something and he is the only bearer of the "truth". Not worth it. And I suspect that I will not change my mind after I finish. Hope that I saved you $20 or so; you owe me a beer Oh. Lesson learned number 2: There is no way in hey I am buying his Barksdale book.