Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CWL Queries Robert Hick's About Novelists Who Get It Right, Historians Who Get It Wrong, and Whether John Bell Hood Was A Laudanum Addict

Live Interview with Robert Hicks, author of A Separate Country and Widow of the South

Shared via AddThis

CWL spends 20 minutes with Thomas Hicks during an hour long interview on Hanchette Book Talk Radio.

Faulkner states that "The past is not dead; it is not even passed."

Jill Lepore states "Historians and novelists are kin . . .but they're more like brothers who throw food at each other than like sisters who borrow each other's clothes,"

Hicks states that historians have for a long time promoted a lie regarding John Bell Hoods' military decisions and the possibility of an addiction to laudanum. CWL asks if historians have been dismissive of his portrait of an unaddicted Hood. As a point of reference, Russell Bonds' recent work on the Battles of Atlanta War Like a Thunderbolt is close to Hicks' depiction of a general like Lee but without the popular stature.

Hicks recounts the efforts of Civil War veterans to establish a national military park at Franklin which was perceived as having the same impact as Gettysburg. The mayor of Franklin at the turn of the century dissuaded the U.S. War Department in considering Franklin as a site. Indeed, the one battle monument on the site of Franklin was torn down in 1901 because it was part of the Old South and was backward looking.

Hicks is reading Russell Bonds' War Like a Thunderbolt and is deeply appreciative of the work. He cites Shelby Foote's remark that history is story "not counting generals sitting on the tip of needle." Bonds history is driven by the story and has all the atributes of scholarly work.

1 comment:

Jim Schmidt said...

Rea - Couldn't agree more on the assessment of Bond's "Thunderbolt." I just finished it last night and his writing on Hood takes others to taks for portraying the general as little more than a hard-charging simpleton. He bases this in no small part on an analysis of Hood's orders and official correspondence. The quote in your post about novelists/historians acting like "brothers" rather than "sisters" is great. Keep up the good work!

Jim Schmidt