Discussion of Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War, by Tony Horwitz. Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.
In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of “hardcore” reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim.
Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones, “classrooms, courts, country bars,” where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. It speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.
We will also be talking about December's book, Dallas 1963, by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis.
This discussion will be held upstairs in the library.