Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Civil War Bookshelf

From Mark G.:

I've begun wandering around the blogosphere of late. It's still largely terra incognita to me, for while I have been keeping a blog for over a year, I can see that until I created an orthodox blog site I wasn't really blogging. You just don't get the interconnectivity that defines blogdom until you have a site that bloggers can easily find.

Naturally I have a particular interest in Civil War blogs, if indeed there are any. So far I know of only one: The Civil War Bookshelf , maintained by Dimitri Rotov, who posted his first entry on August 27, 2003. Since then, according to Site Meter, CWB has gotten almost 24,000 hits. Not bad at all for a blog that confines its beat to Civil War historiography and publishing. (Mr. Rotov also seems to be the moving force behind The McClellan Society and the society's MG George B. McClellan Pages.)

Mr. Rotov thinks that too much consensus characterizes the field of Civil War history. This is from his maiden post:

The consensus was slowly and painfully developed through the 1940s through the 1960s. It covers hundreds of individual points of American Civil War history (hence the slowness to build, the pain of achieving). We know, common sense tells us, that a consensus covering hundreds of points and spanning thousands of published authors is contrived. It is simply not possible for active scholars in a vital field brimming with fresh infusions of primary materials to agree on so much, so vehemently. So something is wrong with our field. We need to fix it. Maybe this blog can help.

I'm not yet entirely sure what he means by this, so I'm as yet in no position to agree or disagree. But I can tell that he's a serious student of the conflict and I'm curious to explore his blog more closely. I encourage you to do so as well.

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