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Mary Chesnut's Civil War by Mary Chesnut

Mary Chesnut's Civil War

by Mary Chesnut

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537918,724 (3.97)23



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considered to be one of the best eye witness journals of the civil war and on a par with the best novels written on the war
  antiqueart | Dec 3, 2013 |
It was facinating to read an authentic diary from the Civil War era. You wonder how much you see in movies is realistic. This put some things in prospective, confirmed alot of things about southern life, such as duels, for instance. I was surprised that her brother died while participating in a duel. I always figured stories about those to be exaggerated. ( )
  shesinplainview | Dec 3, 2012 |
Perfectly good book no doubt. However, one must be interested in the social life of the top one percent of the southern aristocracy, which I am not, finding them to be a particularly stupid and uninteresting group, even by usual aristo standards. The capacity of this group to bring about a war based on slavery - slavery! - and then lose that war against the odds, suggests Mary Chestnut should have written even more of a satire than she did write. ( )
  RobertP | Mar 4, 2012 |
  JohnMeeks | May 22, 2010 |
I kept thinking of Scarlett O'Hara while reading this. It's the portrait of a hot-blooded, cocky, pugnacious society that was teetering on the brink of destruction, like Carthage during the Punic Wars.

It's hard to have much sympathy. Chesnut is snide, hard-nosed, delusional, insightful, and vulnerable all at the same time. Her view into the minds and actions of the Confederate upper crust as things crumble around them touched my heart even as their motivations escaped me.

The irony is that once the hotheads had their way they were shoved aside and spent the rest of the war kvetching on the sidelines, excreting the same poisonous grease on their own side as they'd poured on Lincoln and the North a few scant months before.

Chesnut's book was originally published in a truncated edition after her death. Here Woodward has pieced together and deciphered her original text giving Chesnut's portraits of the Civil War's most compelling personalities a modern freshness that everyone can enjoy.
  wcpweaver | Oct 29, 2009 |
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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300029799, 0300024592

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