- Book Notes
Photography and the American Civil War. By Jeff L. Rosenheim. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. Pp. 277. $50.00 cloth)
Photography played a critical and evolving role during the American Civil War as Americans redefined the conflict and how they saw themselves. After the war, the thousands upon thousands of photographs shaped Americans’ historical memory of the war by providing what author Jeff L. Rosenheim calls “a national visual library of sorts” (p. 1). Rosenheim, curator in charge of the department of photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, guides his readers through the evolution of wartime photography in a beautifully illustrated work detailing over two hundred photographs. This published accompaniment to the Met’s exhibit of the same name mingles famous photographs with lesser-known images and through its highly accessible text provides readers with the most up-to-date scholarship on Civil War photography.
Kentucky in the Civil War: 150 for the 150th, An Annotated Bibliographic Reference. By The Louisville Civil War Round Table (Louisville: The Louisville Civil War Round Table, 2012. Pp. 51. $12.50 paper) [End Page 642]
The Louisville Civil War Round Table has printed a limited edition, soft-cover annotated bibliography of what they consider the best one hundred and fifty books on Kentucky during the Civil War. The bibliography is divided into eight sections for easy perusal: General Kentucky; Biographies, Recollections, Memoirs, Diaries and Letters; Battles and Campaigns; Unit and Army Histories; Local and Regional Studies; Fiction; Reference Works; and Bibliographies. To order, call 502-339-9000.
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, volume 23: Folk Art. Edited by Carol Crown and Cheryl Rivers. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. Pp. 480. $49.95 cloth; $24.95 paper)
This installment of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture details the aesthetic expressions of southern folk artists from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first century. This is no small task. Editors Crown and Rivers marshal fifty-two thematic essays and 211 topical essays to traverse such large swaths of time and space. The result is an impressive study with entries dedicated to the breadth of African American expressions or colonial portraiture while others zero in on intimate portrayals of specific artists.
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, volume 24: Race. Edited Thomas C. Holt and Laurie B. Green. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. Pp. 301. $49.95 cloth; $24.95 paper)
The final installment of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture turns to the thorny issue of race, one of the defining issues central to understanding southern culture. To their credit, the editors expand a static interpretation of black/white relations to spotlight a region with a rich history of diversity that continues to expand. In thirty-six thematic [End Page 643] and twenty-nine topical essays, the authors traverse well-trod terrain regarding slavery and emancipation, segregation and Jim Crow, and African American civil rights along with newer interpretations of Asian American narratives, southern Indians, Mexican American civil rights, and Latino migration. Arguing that “racial diversity has nurtured the South’s cultural heritage” (p. xvii), the authors of the collection present a nuanced interpretation of the past of the region and intriguing suggestions regarding its future.
Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industry. By James C. Nicholson. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2013. Pp. 232. $29.95 cloth)
Serious horseracing devotees know Never Say Die as the second American-bred thoroughbred to win the prestigious Epsom Derby in 1954, the first to do so from Kentucky, and the first Derby mount for Lester Piggot, one of the most famous English jockeys of all time. In his biography of the horse, Nicholson wisely eschews focusing on this horse-racing minutia and instead orients his narrative on the fascinating personalities surrounding the horse. Owned by the heir of the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, bred by Sultan Mohammed Shah, the third Aga Khan, and raced in Europe, the Never Say Die story illuminates the development of thoroughbred racing as a global industry. [End Page 644]