Thursday, August 09, 2007

CWL --- James McPherson Needs Another Document Frame

Bain of McClellan enthusiasts and cheerful companion of Grant enthusiasts, James B. McPherson is ordering a larger suit jacket size. He needs room for another academic medal.

The Pritzker Military Library has awarded James McPherson, author of 'This Mighty Scourge', the first Pritzker Library lifetime achievement award for military writing. McPherson's 'For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War' won the 1998 Lincoln Prize and 'Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era' won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

The Pritzker Library, located on the 2nd floor of 619 North Fairbanks Court, in Chicago Illinois houses 18,000 volumes and 500 miliary art prints and posters. The library's website is and is funded in part by the Tawani Foundation which promotes historical presevervation and health and environmental education. The library's out reach includes webcasts and podcasts.

'This Might Scourge' collects 16 previously published esssays that cover The Lost Cause(6), Union generals(3), the home and battle Fronts (3), slavery and the coming of the war (2)and Lincoln (2). In the next several weeks, Civil War Librarian write more specifically about this collection.

McPherson has his detractors. Dimitri Rotov in his Civil War Bookshelf weblog as put McPherson in the 'Centennialist School' of Civil War historiography. One particular aspect of this school is its rough treatment of McClellan. On the other hand, Ethan Rafuse, in both this writings and his shared weblog 'Civil Warriors' gives McPherson a pat-on-the-back for his chanllenges to 'Grant', William McFeely's harsh biogrpaghical treatment of its central character, that won the Pulitzer Prize two years before McPherson received is Pulitizer in i988. Rafuse tips his hat to McPherson in a July 2007 Journal of Military History essay. Civil War Librarian will discuss this essay in the next week.

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