What They Didn't Teach You About the Civil War

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Random House Publishing Group, Feb 4, 2009 - History - 352 pages
Instant coffee was invented during the Civil War for use by Union troops, who hated it; holding races between lice was a popular pastime for both Johnny Reb and Billy Yank; 13% of the Confederate Army deserted during the conflict. These are three of the hundreds of bits of knowledge that Mike Wright makes available in his informative and entertaining What They Didn't Teach You About the Civil War, which focuses on the lives and ways of ordinary soldiers and of those they left behind.
 

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What they didn't teach you about the Civil War

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Award-winning television writer Wright wants to make the Civil War fun in the misguided belief that American history instruction needs more entertainment. The result is a patchwork of amusing ... Read full review

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Although Wright packs this book full of information, I find it hard to consider it a credible source. Surely, Wright--and the book's publisher, for that matter--could benefit from better editing. Though it would be crass to pick apart certain grammatical errors, the mistakes hurt his credibility as a writer. What's more, Wright's voice in the book is far too conversational, exacerbating his editing problem. Because history books and accounts always inherently suffer from the author's bias (be it intentional or not), Wright's lack of careful editing, his too-friendly approach, and the bias we must assume he brings to the text greatly diminish its quality and credibility.  

Contents

Fort Sumter The First Shot
1
Sambo and Cuffee That Peculiar Institution
17
All the Presidents Men The Best and Not So Bright
38
Hurry Up and Wait Fun Games and Mail Call
50
Homesick Times Readin Ritin and LovedStarved Troops
55
Seven Days Do Not an Army Make Or Do They?
66
ackson and McClellan Disparate Classmates
76
Great Raids Meager Results
90
Liberty Lost Prison Camps
153
Liberty Found Prison Escapes
170
The Gentler Sex Women Who Spied Women Who Fought
180
To Err Is Common Bungling through War
192
Battlefield Medicine Malpractice Makes Imperfect
200
Villains and Scoundrels In All Shades of Blue and Gray
216
A DoItYourself War Homespun Homemade and MakeDo
226
Singing through the Pain Songs of the Civil War
235

Discovery and Design The New Ways of War
95
Ships of Iron Men of Steel
111
All in the Family More Than Just a Brothers War l 19
119
Clothes Make the Man Especially if Hes a Soldier
130
Diary of a War Clerk john B ones
137
Sex and the Single Soldier Married Ones T00
145
Outlaws and Terrorists Random Acts of Unkindness
248
Fame Some Have It Some Dont
264
Epilogue
284
Index
303
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