Confederates in the Attic

Confederates in the Attic

Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War

Book - 1998
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When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.         Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.         In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'         Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c1998
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780679439783
Call Number: 973.7 H789c
Characteristics: ix, 406 p. : map ; 25 cm


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Nov 11, 2020


Feb 06, 2020

Such a smart, insightful look at the oddly continuing ripples of the Confederacy. Told with humor and historical knowledge, it made me miss Tony Horowitz all over again.

Mar 23, 2018

I wanted to give this book 4 stars but I forgot to take it on a 4 day trip and I sort of lost my way. Researched in the flesh, the author visits many Civil War battle sites in the south trying to come to terms w/ his own fascination w/ the Civil War, understand the current day Southern Confederacy, reenactments, how this all comes together w/ race relations and what it means for our country. A reminder of all our country needs to over come. Take a trip w/ this author and you won't be disappointed.

Oct 25, 2017

A "Northerner", Wisconsin, Alaska, and Northwest, I have had difficulty in understanding the disconnect with Southerners. This book has truly been an education in history. So many levels were explored, from Southern cities, to very rural small towns. This read is well documented, and in detail draws a picture of the forces that linger and the depth of the loyalty. One chapter stands out. Horwitz details the bibles passed from one generation to another. This validates, and makes deeply meaningful their connection with their ancestors, their service, and death. The book also brings to light, the mythology, and enhanced epics that are being examined closely today by historians. On many levels this has given me a perspective on the current politics, and distortion that can divide.

Jan 20, 2013

Tony Horwitz is a favorite writer & I've enjoyed every book of his. Compeling story keeps one going. Great sublte humor, fact & reasearch given in all writing. Suggest reading his wife's writing - Geraldine Brooks

Jan 21, 2010

Loved it!

Nov 18, 2009

Civil War reenactors


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