Emerging Civil War is pleased to announce that we are reinvigorating our book review services for readers. Toward that end we have acquired the services of Stephen Davis, of Cumming, Ga., as ECW Book Review Editor.
Over the years Steve has become familiar to the Civil War community in a number of roles: Book Review Editor for Blue &Gray magazine (1985-2006); reviewer for the Civil War Courier newspaper (1988-93); and more recently BRE for Civil War News. Altogether, our new guy has had published nearly 200 book reviews in scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. You can read Steve’s full ECW bio here and you can read his past ECW posts here.
Along the way, Steve’s had some cool encounters. In the ‘80s, he got to meet the late Burke Davis on his book tour for Sherman’s March. They were to rendezvous in a midtown hotel lobby one Sunday afternoon. When Steve called Burke and asked how’d he recognize him, B. Davis replied that he’d be the tall drink of water in the blue blazer. (S. Davis said he’d be the tall drink of water in the gray suit.)
Steve tells the next story himself:
“In 2002, when Noah Andre Trudeau’s Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage came out, HarperCollins arranged a signing tour. I was slated to review the book for a journal, so I got to meet the author when he was in Atlanta.
“We talked about how the literature of the battle had broken it into so many pieces: a day, a charge, a flank, a railroad cut. With so much micro-history on Gettysburg, I asked him, what did he think he could contribute with his book?
“Andy answered that he thought of his study as something like “restoring an old painting.” I’ve liked that ever since, for it suggests what a good historian should strive to do: take a well-known subject and strip away the daubs and accretions added by subsequent renderers, trying to get at the original picture.”
We welcome Steve to ECW in his new role.