A Student of History

June 8, 2006

Lost Triumph

Filed under: New books — John Maass @ 3:20 am

One of the benefits of having a site like this is that if one finds very good material at another site, one need only link to it.  That saves lots of work that is really repetitious.  I do that here with regard to a post I read and concur with at a Blog called "Rantings of a Civil War Historian."  In this blog, by Eric Wittenberg, he expresses doubt upon the thesis of a book that I listened to on tape while sealing the cinder block walls of my basement. It is called Lost Triumph: Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg–and Why It Failed.  The author is Tom Carhart, a lawyer and a historian for the Department of the Army in Washington, D.C., a graduate of West Point, & a twice-wounded Vietnam veteran. He earned a law degree from University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in American and military history from Princeton University. He is the author of five books of military history and adjunct professor of history at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Mr. Wittenberg's assessment about Carhart's book is right on the money, so I direct folks to it here. My own thoughts on the Carhart book is that it is a very big stretch as far as logic and thesis.  He makes far too many assumptions in the early chapters, which somehow become the undisputed foundational facts in later chapters.  His assessment of the Lee-Stuart issues revolving around the latter's missing days before the battle stretch credulity to the breaking point.  Later, Custer is the hero of Gettysburg, we learn.  Hmmmm.  Anyway, read Wittenberg's assessment, but I suggest not reading Lost Triumph

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