Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book to Recommend: Confederates in the Attic

I did an independent study on museums and museum work when I was in college. Strangely, one of the books my professor required me to read was Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. What did that have to do with museums? It's a book about the author's journey to discover the exploding interest and allure of the American Civil War, why people are obsessed with reenacting it and why it's being kept alive. This book was one of the most fascinating books I'd read in a long time. It might have helped that I, myself, was a Civil War reenactor for about 9 years.

I did finally get why my professor required me to read this book. The interesting thing about homesteading is that a lot of the skills associated with it are ones that have been handed down for generations. These skills are an important part of our culture and heritage and reenacting our history is just one way that people help keep it fresh, real, and poignant in our minds. Museums, whether living history or not, seek to accomplish that very thing - to bring history alive for all of us and help us relate to the people who went before us and to remember and value what they did.

Confederates in the Attic helps us discover what those Civil War soldiers did for us and why a long gone war still affects people today.

Rating: I'd rate this book a PG-13 for language, suggestive language, and some violence.


Anonymous said...

I had a g'grandfather who was a Chaplain, in the Army, during the Civil War. He met my g'grandmother, in Petersburg, VA, during the later part of the Civil War. They married after the war was over. So for me the Civil War is very personal, it played a pivotal role in my being here at all. What if my southern g'grandparents had never met, what if my northern g'grandparents had not come down after the Civil War and bought land in south central Virginia. Confederates in the Attic sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out!

Sarah Rachelle said...

I can understand why the Civil War is so important in your family! I do hope you'll read the book. It's fantastically written and I learned so much - especially about the Gone With the Wind phenomenon.

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