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Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War | [Tony Horwitz]

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1998 Tony Horowitz (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The freshest book about divisiveness in America that I have read in some time. This splendid commemoration of the war and its legacy...is an eyes-open, humorously no-nonsense survey of complicated Americans." (Roy Blount Jr., New York Times Book Review)"In this sparkling book Horwitz explores some of our culture's myths with the irreverent glee of a small boy hurling snowballs at a beaver hat. . . . An important contribution to understanding how echoes of the Civil War have never stopped."--USA TodayHorwitz's chronicle of his odyssey through the nether and ethereal worlds of Confederatemania is by turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating. He has found the Lost Cause and lived to tell the tale a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out. --James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

"In this sparkling book Horwitz explores some of our culture's myths with the irreverent glee of a small boy hurling snowballs at a beaver hat.... An important contribution to understanding how echoes of the Civil War have never stopped." (USA Today)Horwitz's chronicle of his odyssey through the nether and ethereal worlds of Confederatemania is by turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating. He has found the Lost Cause and lived to tell the tale a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out. --James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

"Horwitz's chronicle of his odyssey through the nether and ethereal worlds of Confederatemania is by turns amusing, chilling, poignant, and always fascinating. He has found the Lost Cause and lived to tell the tale a wonderfully piquant tale of hard-core reenactors, Scarlett O'Hara look-alikes, and people who reshape Civil War history to suit the way they wish it had come out. If you want to know why the war isn't over yet in the South, read Confederates in the Attic to find out. (James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom)

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    W. Perry Hall 05-26-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Book; Epically Awful Narration"

    I have and love this book in print. I cannot listen any longer to the audible book though. The narrator is epically awful. If any narrator can sound as BORED as this guy does, I sure as heck haven't found him. He reminds me of George Costanza and how he'd narrate a book if he'd just swallowed a few valiums and is severely constipated.

    One of THE WORST narration jobs in all of AudibleLand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Winston East Coast U.S.A. 12-06-14
    Ms Winston East Coast U.S.A. 12-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A Must Read for Civil War Buffs!"
    Would you listen to Confederates in the Attic again? Why?

    Yes! It is an engaging book for anyone interested in the Civil War as well as the aftermath. I originally read the book when it was first published, and love the works of Tony Horwitz. He has a dry sense of humor that translated well in the recorded version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Confederates in the Attic?

    There are so many, but one of my favorites was the tour he did with his hard core reinactor friend, when they went on a ten day road trip through Virginia. I know 99% of the places mentioned in that chapter and it was interesting to listen to them from a vantage point of almost 20 years since the publication of the book. For instance, the public meeting in Richmond on the Arthur Ashe statue was particularly interesting.


    What about Arthur Addison’s performance did you like?

    Excellent performance! Delivery is everything sometimes and Addison hit the perfect tone, particularly in dealing with the Shelby Foote chapter, but also the very humorous passages as well. He was able to do subtle accents without going over the edge..


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The chapter set in Kentucky -- the murder of the young man shot by former classmates for displaying the battle flag of Northern Virginia on his pickup. It is something that is still going on in 2014 in the south -- the conflict between those who see it as a racist issue and those who see it as a heritage issue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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