ghost of miles

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https://www.amazon.com/Receding-Tide-Vicksburg-Gettysburg-Campaigns/dp/1426205104/ref=sr_1_1?crid=COCLBE2E683Q&keywords=receding+tide&qid=1558289330&s=books&sprefix=Receding+tide%2Caps%2C1003&sr=1-1

Probably the best battle accounts and among the best campaign accounts I've ever read. One always feels that author Edwin C. Bearss has zeroed in on the crucial moments and levels of decision-making, in many cases (e.g. Gettysburg), in ways that were new to me. I knew not much about Vicksburg, a good deal about Gettysburg, but didn't know how closely interwoven those two campaigns were -- in time (Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863; the last day of combat at Gettysburg was the day before) and in strategic importance. Indeed, the fall of Vicksburg was of immense importance -- opening up the Mississippi to commerce from the Union North to the perviously captured port of New Orleans and virtually severing the South from the slave-holding states in the southwest, e.g. Texas, Arkansas. Further, I had no idea that Grant's campaign against Vicksburg was such a masterly and complex act of generalship and of political savvy too.

That Robert E. Lee pretty much screwed the pooch at Gettysburg was not news to me, but Bears leads one to see that given the circumstances (Lee was prone to issuing ambiguous orders, and he had lost a host of key subordinate commanders (Stonewall Jackson, in particular) who pretty much knew how to read Lee's mind and/or were aggressive in the right ways on their own hook; plus as is well known, Jeb Stuart's rather narcissistic adventurism before and during the battle deprived Lee of the cavalry's key role as the eyes of his army.

The battle then, painting in broad strokes, came down to heroic fighting by many units on both sides, a lack of leadership by a fair number of Confederate commanders, and a lot of excellent leadership by a good many Union commanders under Meade (Winfield Scott Hancock was virtually everywhere on the field at Gettysburg, wheeling/hurling reserves into place just as needed; and Meade himself made some crucial good decisions and no bad ones, unless one considers his decision not to attack Lee's withdrawing forces on July 4th to be one such. In the aftermath, Lincoln thought it was a grave error; Bearss' verdict: "Lee wants to shorten his battle line on July 4, so he orders Ewell to fall back through Gettysburg [i.e. the town] and dig in along Oak and Seminary Ridges. Soon breastworks and rifle pits extend for two and a half miles ... on the western slope of the ridge line, hidden by trees. If Meade attacks on July 4 it will be across open ground against well-defended positions."

Also, Beers takes  some of the air out of the balloon of one stalwart Union officer, Joshua Chamberlin,  who also was a great promoter of his own achievements and those of his men at Little Round Top on the far left on July 3, while Bearss turns a spotlight on the arguably no less important and  almost certainly more stalwart defense on the far right of Culp's Hill (the Union forces there faced much greater odds) under the leadership of  the almost forgotten Gen. George Greene and Col. David Ireland.                                  

 

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40 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

https://www.amazon.com/Receding-Tide-Vicksburg-Gettysburg-Campaigns/dp/1426205104/ref=sr_1_1?crid=COCLBE2E683Q&keywords=receding+tide&qid=1558289330&s=books&sprefix=Receding+tide%2Caps%2C1003&sr=1-1

Probably the best battle accounts and among the best campaign accounts I've ever read. One always feels that author Edwin C. Bearss has zeroed in on the crucial moments and levels of decision-making, in many cases (e.g. Gettysburg), in ways that were new to me. I knew not much about Vicksburg, a good deal about Gettysburg, but didn't know how closely interwoven those two campaigns were -- in time (Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863; the last day of combat at Gettysburg was the day before) and in strategic importance. Indeed, the fall of Vicksburg was of immense importance -- opening up the Mississippi to commerce from the Union North to the perviously captured port of New Orleans and virtually severing the South from the slave-holding states in the southwest, e.g. Texas, Arkansas. Further, I had no idea that Grant's campaign against Vicksburg was such a masterly and complex act of generalship and of political savvy too.

That Robert E. Lee pretty much screwed the pooch at Gettysburg was not news to me, but Bears leads one to see that given the circumstances (Lee was prone to issuing ambiguous orders, and he had lost a host of key subordinate commanders (Stonewall Jackson, in particular) who pretty much knew how to read Lee's mind and/or were aggressive in the right ways on their own hook; plus as is well known, Jeb Stuart's rather narcissistic adventurism before and during the battle deprived Lee of the cavalry's key role as the eyes of his army.

The battle then, painting in broad strokes, came down to heroic fighting by many units on both sides, a lack of leadership by a fair number of Confederate commanders, and a lot of excellent leadership by a good many Union commanders under Meade (Winfield Scott Hancock was virtually everywhere on the field at Gettysburg, wheeling/hurling reserves into place just as needed; and Meade himself made some crucial good decisions and no bad ones, unless one considers his decision not to attack Lee's withdrawing forces on July 4th to be one such. In the aftermath, Lincoln thought it was a grave error; Bearss' verdict: "Lee wants to shorten his battle line on July 4, so he orders Ewell to fall back through Gettysburg [i.e. the town] and dig in along Oak and Seminary Ridges. Soon breastworks and rifle pits extend for two and a half miles ... on the western slope of the ridge line, hidden by trees. If Meade attacks on July 4 it will be across open ground against well-defended positions."

Also, Beers takes  some of the air out of the balloon of one stalwart Union officer, Joshua Chamberlin,  who also was a great promoter of his own achievements and those of his men at Little Round Top on the far left on July 3, while Bearss turns a spotlight on the arguably no less important and  almost certainly more stalwart defense on the far right of Culp's Hill (the Union forces there faced much greater odds) under the leadership of  the almost forgotten Gen. George Greene and Col. David Ireland.                                  

 

619wh2osluL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Have you ever read any Gordon Rhea. He’s a fantastic campaign writer. You might enjoy him. 

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Don't know Rhea. I'll look for him.

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Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

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His books about the war in Virginia from 1864 on are considered classics; I've only read one of them.

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Picked up Ed Park's Personal Days.  It's a satire of corporate America.  Intriguingly, it came out within a year of Joshua Ferris’ Then We Came to the End and it also uses 1st person plural (at least in the first section), so the similarities are numerous but probably unintentional.  I haven't gotten far enough to tell how much I will like it, particularly the stylistic changes in the later parts, but Then We Came to the End does seem to be the stronger novel overall.

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I've also never read any of the Games of Thrones books so I'm going to give one a try. 

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Edited by Brad

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I like this series of historical "mysteries" set in the reign of (female) Pharaoh Hatshepsut. 

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Lord of the Rings. Read it many times growing up, and then, stopped for some reason. I realized the other day that it's been at least fifteen years since I last read the whole thing. looking forward to revisiting.

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Myla Goldberg: Feast Your Eyes

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Just finished this excellent study of 1940s American literature:

51U6u4HV3uL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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26 minutes ago, Simon8 said:

9780812988659

:tup:tup

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7 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Just finished this excellent study of 1940s American literature:

51U6u4HV3uL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

6 hours ago, Simon8 said:

9780812988659

I desperately need to stop checking this topic, I see all these books I want to read, and not enough time! 

books1.jpg

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19 hours ago, Matthew said:

 

I desperately need to stop checking this topic, I see all these books I want to read, and not enough time! 

books1.jpg

I feel your pain, confrere!

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51nWKN0ilWL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThis may be the only time I ever bought a book because of its cover and title (and it was 25cents in a thrift store).   Awkwardly translated from Spanish and full of name dropping  and yet it has power-- especially the last five pages.  Should be of interest to those who were reading about the Spanish civil war

Edited by medjuck

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8 hours ago, medjuck said:

51nWKN0ilWL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThis may be the only time I ever bought a book because of its cover and title (and it was 25cents in a thrift store).   Awkwardly translated from Spanish and full of name dropping  and yet it has power-- especially the last five pages.  Should be of interest to those who were reading about the Spanish civil war

This one is new to me but there must be many Spanish writers that we are not aware of. Will add this to the list. A very long list as well.

Followup Note: I see this is about Capa and Gerda Taro. Their relationship was part of Amanda Vaill’s Hotel Florida, which wasn’t bad.  Well worth picking up. 

Edited by Brad

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Trouble Finds Me by Ross MacDonald

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The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I was beginning the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but decided to backtrack and begin at the beginning. First time I've read it, and finding it very enjoyable.

61VxEKq8B1L._SX365_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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1 hour ago, Matthew said:

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I was beginning the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but decided to backtrack and begin at the beginning. First time I've read it, and finding it very enjoyable.

61VxEKq8B1L._SX365_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I've read that book a couple of times, though it's been a few decades now.  But I always enjoyed it. 

In contrast, the film trilogy is a waste, in my opinion, despite the effort that went into it.  I've watched the LotR films many times, and love them.  

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