Shiloh 1862 by Winston Goom (yes, the same guy who wrote Forrest Gump) is a work of popular history about the epic Civil War battle that nearly ended the Union's thrust into the west (and with it U.S. Grant's career). Groom has become a prolific author of military history in recent years but this was the first time I've read his non-fiction. The verdict?
Shelby Foote good, as the blurb on the cover indicates?
This is a work of history meant for the masses, more of a detailed introduction to the battle than an in-depth historical work. You'll learn a lot about the battle if this is your first exposure to it, but I can't say I walked away with any more information than I knew going in, aside from some accounts taken from civilian diaries that help make the narrative more accessible.
Groom writes smoothly, and you'll find he delivers the information with ease, so no problems on that score. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I thought I detected a hint of southern bias at some points in the book, especially in the 'wrap-up' sections after the battle concludes on the field. And, as usual, too little emphasis is given to the monumental second day, when the Union not only rallied but mauled the Confederate Army to retake the field.
Book #42 of the year
And now for something completely different . . .
Joan Rivers' new book, I Hate Everyone . . . Starting with Me is vulgar, occasionally repetitive, and laugh out loud funny. It's not for the faint of heart, but those with heart problems probably won't survive the $26 price tag anyway.
My only complaint is that it's obvious Rivers hasn't been slumming in awhile. If you're going to joke about McDonald's or other fast food places, it might be a good idea to check out a recent (post-1985 menu);. McDonald's does offer healthy options, and it doesn't serve onion rings (at least not in any of the franchises where I've eaten.
Anywho, damn funny.
Book #43 of the year