Book Reviews of Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures)

Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures)
Confederates in the Attic Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War - Vintage Departures
Author: Tony Horwitz
ISBN-13: 9780679758334
ISBN-10: 067975833X
Publication Date: 2/22/1999
Pages: 432
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 110

4 stars, based on 110 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

21 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
A couple years ago, I read an excerpt from this book in the New Yorker and I was fascinated by the author's half-admiring, half-incredulous account of "super hardcore" Civil War re-enactors who are obsessed with recreating the experience of a common Confederate foot soldier. For the sake of authenticity, and in the hopes of attaining a peak experience during which they feel time melting away, these guys will endure anything, including meagre rations authentic to the period; sleeping all night in the open, unprotected from insects, or in the rain or in freezing temperatures; and especially obsessed with getting their handmade, homespun clothing right, down to the grease spots, authentically oxidized buttons, etc. These guys do reenactment like it's a religious experience or at least performance art. Well, the book spends a lot of time with these guys, but it's about much, much more than that. It's a complex, fascinating look at why the Lost Cause continues to appeal to the American imagination. In parts, this book is hilarious, but it's also genuinely sympathetic in its exploration of why people remain invested in these old stories. And it's far too smart and morally complex to settle for easy nostalgia. Everywhere he goes, the author also asks Black Southerners how they feel about the whole Civil War obsession. In part, also, the book is an elegy for the rural, 19th-century south, fast giving way to the New South, as battlefields are hidden under subdivisions and the parking lots of Piggly Wigglys. All this somehow adds up to one of the best nonfiction portraits of America that I've read in a long time.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I'd love to take an adventure as Horwitz does to delve further into subjects like these (Confederate war re-enactors, post-Civil War south, etc.)
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The dedication (?) page has a quote that sums up the book really well:

"Southerners are very strange about that war."
-Shelby Foote

I don't think I could do better than that with a 2000 word review. Southerners (of which I'm kind of one) are very strange about that war, and it's scary.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 174 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Great read about some people in the South's view of "the war of northern aggression" - even today! Very entertaining book!
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is the perfect combination of pathos and humor. You will laugh out loud at some of the characters and situations, but Horwitz never belittles or laughs at the people he includes in the book. I think this is his greatest gift as a writer.

He takes you on a journey through history and makes it incredibly appealing. You will want to visit many of the places and meet the people just as Horwitz did, and you don't have to be a Civil War buff to enjoy it.

A great book to read on a road trip. I'm off to find more books by Tony Horwitz!
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a tremendous read! Loved Horwitz' approach to meeting every-day people in all sorts of places around the American south. The war truly is not over for many of these folks. Horwitz touches on many aspects of our society and the divide between North and South, and between the races, and yet describes with warmth and humor the individual experiences that tie us to that time 150 years ago. Very highly recommended!!
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this to be a very entertaining look at Civil War History. Hard to believe there could be such a fresh book on such an old (but importanat) topic. This would make good required reading for a HS or college civil war class.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Thoroughly enjoyed Horwitz humorous look at the history of the Civil War. He certainly deserved the Pulitzer Prize!
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really got a lot out of this book. I hesitate to say 'enjoy' because some of the experiences the author endured were less than enjoyable, but the book remains relevant and is very interesting. As a living historian, I can attest to the fact that there *are* people who live the way these guys do. To walk in their shoes for a little while was enlightening, to say the least. I recommend this book.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book might have been more relevant if I'd read it when first written, but it still helped me understand the Civil War history as seen from a Southerner's perspective. Traveling through the southern states as a Union soldier in this era, certainly put a spin on how he interacted with the people he met and the history he experienced. Well worth reading if you are interested in the whole picture of how the Civil War affected the country, even today.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on
Helpful Score: 1
This is an interesting and funny look at the people who are Civil War reenactors. It also includes a disturbing look at race relations in parts of the South in the 1990s. I'd recommend it to friends.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 12 more book reviews
Non-fiction that is fun to read. Added a lot to my limited knowledge of the Civil War.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 48 more book reviews
Would be of great interest to re-enactors or students of the War for Southern Independence.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 266 more book reviews
If you are student of the Civil War this is the book for YOU! It covers a wide area of Civil War topics and is fun to read.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 19 more book reviews
very interesting...an easy reader
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 216 more book reviews
I liked the first part, but thought it kind of dragged on a bit.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 158 more book reviews
The Civil War still rages across the South in ways both quirky and compelling. "Hardcore" reenactors crash-diet to resemble starved Confederates and spoon in ditches to stave off frostbite. A Scarlett O'Hara impersonator lifts her skirts for Japanese tourists. And Sons, Daughters and Children of the Confederacy gather to sing "Dixie" and salute the rebel flag.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Horwitz takes us on a ten-state adventure, from Gettysburg to Vicksburg, from Charleston graveyards to Tennessee taverns. Probing both the history of the Civil War and its potent echo in the present, Horwitz crafts an eloquent, fast-paced, and penetrating travelogue that shows us how the Lost Cause still resonates in the memory and rituals of the South.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 70 more book reviews
THis book was interesting, even to one not particularly interested in the Civil War. The insight into race was especially interesting. A few spots where it lulls, but general a very good read.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 352 more book reviews
I can't even begin to say how much I LOVED this book. It is amazing, sad, funny, and ironic.
From the cover...The Civil War still rages across the South in ways both quirky and compelling. "Hardcore" reenactors crash-diet to resemble starved Confederates and spoon in ditches to stave off frostbite. A Scarlett O'Hara impersonator lifts her skirts for Japanese tourists. And Sons, Daughters, and Children of the Confederacy gather to sing "Dixie" and salute the rebel flag. Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Horwitz takes us on a ten state adventure, from Gettysburg to Vickburg, from Charleston graveyards to Tennessee taverns. Probing both the history of the Civil Wary and its potent echo in the present, Horwitz crafts an eloquent, fast-paced and penetrating travelogue that shows us how the Lost Cause still resonates in the memory and rituals of the South.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 3 more book reviews
An unbelievable tour of the reenactment world. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
reviewed Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) on + 39 more book reviews
A new twist on Civil war history