Recommended Civil War Reading

My friend Peter Read moonlights as a Civil War historian. Recently, Peter gave an interesting talk at Jessie Peterman Library (Floyd, Virginia) on the Battle of Chickamauga. The timing of his talk coincided with the 150th anniversary of the battle, a Confederate victory that decimated both sides. Only the Battle of Gettysburg saw more casualties.

Peter also passed along a list of his favorite Civil War authors and titles.

Bruce Catton: The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, Never Call Retreat, Glory Road, A Stillness at Appomattox, This Hallowed Ground

Peter Cozzens: This Terrible Sound, The Shipwreck of Their Hopes

James McPherson: For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War

Steve E. Woodworth: Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns

Those of us who live in or near Floyd are looking forward to Peter’s next Civil War talk in November.


Happy Banned Books Week!

I stopped in Jessie Peterman Library and learned it’s Banned Books Week. A celebration of “FREADOM,” Banned Books Week runs from September 22 through 28.

Here’s what the American Library Association (ALA) says:

ALA’s work opposing censorship takes place not just during Banned Books Week, but throughout the year. OIF tracks hundreds of challenges to books and other materials in libraries and classrooms across the country. We provide advice, letters of support, access to legal assistance, policy recommendations, and much more to librarians, teachers, and community members looking to keep books on the shelves. We conduct training, media interviews, and online education about how and why to defend the freedom to read.

Famous Banned Books

Here are some noteworthy controversial reads. The reasons why are in parentheses.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (encouragement of child abuse and drug abuse)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (dark tone and unruly lead character)

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (banned in China because of Marxist and homosexual ideas)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (might be offensive to Muslim students)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (promotes witchcraft)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (racial content, vulgar language)

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (considered sexist)

Animal Farm by George Orwell (communist text in introduction)

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (offensive language)

How many of the above banned books have you read?