Another book on Stuart’s ride

Following some thought after some good advice from a friend (thank you, Michael), I decided to delete the last couple post here, made concerning the new book at left.  Called “Jeb Stuart and the Confederate Defeat at Gettysburg,” it’s by Warren C. Robinson, an economics professor at Penn State University. 

After getting a copy and reading it, as I posted previously here, I can’t recommend it for various reasons.  However, as pointed out to me, this particular book can be seen as “competition” for my book on the subject, and I don’t want folks to think that my negative comments about it are simply a reflection of that.  I have my specifics reasons for not recommending this book, based on its content and source material, but it’s fair to let folks decide for themselves.

If anyone would like to discuss it, I’d be happy to.

Published in: on March 1, 2007 at 12:13 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. J.D.,

    It’s funny you posted this today, as I was gonna send you an e-mail about it tonight. As per usual, every now and then I check out Amazon just to see what is new on the CW book horizon, and came across it last night.

    Much like you did, I used the surprise me option as well, and while there are some points I could agree with, I would have to hold my judgment as well and read the entire book when it does come out. Which you know I will do so, in all fairness to Professor Robinson.

    The May 1 publication date caught my eye as well. It made me smile, as that is Mary K.’s birthday, and no way I would forget her first birthday in Heaven. That said, I would not be surprised that she intervened to make sure a new Gettysburg book would be out that day so her brother had something new to read.🙂

    Hope all is well.

    Steve

  2. J.D.

    Pretty classy move on your part, but in my opinion it was unnecessary. I mean, if I wanted an opinion of a book on Lincoln’s assassination, I would rather read something by Ed Steers or Mike Kauffman, because both men would know the intricate details of the topic rather than someone who only hit the subject with a glancing blow. If they disagreed with the quality of the book, I would give their opinion some weight, but it wouldn’t determine whether I read the book or not. Anyhow, I still think your action was commendable.

    Best
    Rob

  3. I have to agree with Rob. As long as you state your reasons clearly and fairly there is no problem at all. Who is more qualified to judge the overall value of this study?

  4. Thank you guys, it’s much appreciated. I do believe that my posts giving negative reviews of this work were fair. As I had stated in one of them, even if I didn’t have a book out on the subject and so recently released, I’d still have to give a thumbs-down to this one. Those reasons were as follows:

    1. Other than the standard published primary works such as the OR, Stuart staffers McClellan, Blackford, Garnett, etc., and others such as Marshall and Mosby etc, the bibliography for this book consists entirely of secondary works. The research for this book doesn’t really seem to have gone beyond your average public library.

    2. My objective opinion regarding Robinson’s familiarity with the realities and logistics of a cavalry campaign is that many of his comments throughout the book demonstrate that he isn’t familiar with them – and that may be a function of the fact that he worked primarily from secondary source.

    I may put a review of the book on Amazon – there I’ll go into more detail. Readers should certainly judge for themselves, of course. But as one intimately familiar with the subject (and trying to set aside my own opinions and conclusions about Stuart’s performance) I can’t recommend the book. Eric and I level a lot of the “blame” on Stuart in our book, as does Robinson, but my opinion is that a reader will learn nothing new in this work. In today’s era, we don’t really need just another conglomeration of secondary studies of the past.

    J.D.


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