Guide to Civil War Books: An Annotated Selection of Modern Works on the War Between the States (Ala Editions)

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9780838906729: Guide to Civil War Books: An Annotated Selection of Modern Works on the War Between the States (Ala Editions)
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Some 320 selected titles are organized under 32 subject categories and indexed by author/editor, subject, and title. Each entry includes bibliographical data, a concise summary of the book, and sources of printed reviews of the book. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Barbuto and Kreisel are reference librarians at Hofstra University and have advanced graduate degrees, respectively, in history and the humanities. Their interesting bibliography on the American Civil War is intended for students, teachers, librarians, and Civil War enthusiasts. The authors surveyed 38 review sources for the past 20 years (e.g., American Historical Review, Choice, Journal of Southern History) and selected 320 modern books on the Civil War. These materials are grouped into 31 subject fields (e.g., art and the war, battles and campaigns, biographies, race and slavery).

Each entry follows a uniform format: complete bibliographic information, noting maps, illustrations, bibliographies, and ISBN and LC number. Following is a detailed annotation, approximately one-half page in length, followed by several citations to reviews. Review sources are cited by three-letter abbreviations that can be deciphered using the list at the beginning of the book. Concluding the volume are three indexes: author-editor, subject, and title. There are no cross-references in the text or indexes.

In the 1960s, during the Civil War Centennial commemoration, several excellent bibliographies were compiled by distinguished scholars. The two-volume Civil War Books by Nevins (Louisiana State Univ., 1967) contains 6,000 entries with critical annotations. The Nation in Crisis by Donald (Appleton-Century, 1969) lists 1,346 articles and books without annotations. Guide to Civil War Books is a valuable update to these works that are now three decades old. More recent, the third edition of The American Historical Association Guide to Historical Literature (Oxford, 1995) has 121 annotated citations in the chapter on the American Civil War. Guide to Civil War Books compares favorably in number of entries to this work and has excellent annotations. It should be seriously considered for purchase by high-school, academic, and public libraries.

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