Emerging Civil War (ECW) has selected Kent Masterson Brown’s Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) as the recipient of this year’s Emerging Civil War Book Award.
The Emerging Civil War Book Award recognizes a work of Civil War history with a public history focus published in the preceding calendar year. Recipients are chosen by ECW’s stable of published authors, making the award a peer-to-peer honor given by Civil War writers to Civil War writers.
The committee also named on honorable mention: Ty Seidule’s Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause (St. Martin’s Press, 2021).
“Kent Masterson Brown’s Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command is a superb example of operational military history,” said the ECW Book Award Committee as it made its announcement. “It communicates years of careful research and study in an accessible and authoritative style, and Brown’s astute analysis—bringing in elements of mid-nineteenth century European military theory—offers new ways to consider Meade as commander. Contrary to much previous scholarship, Brown convincingly demonstrates that Meade was actively engaged in the army’s tactical and operational decisions, both during the three days of battle and throughout the entire campaign. A worthy companion to his earlier study of Lee and Confederate logistics, Meade at Gettysburg instantly takes its place among the most important books ever written on the war’s bloodiest battle—no mean feat.”
Historian Doug Crenshaw, in his original review of the book published on the Emerging Civil War blog, said, “Brown’s book offers a solidly researched defense of Meade’s actions at and following Gettysburg. It’s an engaging and interesting work. Ultimately it is up to the reader to decide if he or she accepts the author’s argument. It would be well worth the time spent.”
A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Brown has, throughout his career as a constitutional attorney, cultivated his avocation in history. As a battlefield preservationist, he helped form the Perryville Battlefield Association, and was appointed by the governor of Kentucky to serve as the Chairman of the Perryville Battlefield Commission. He also received a Presidential appointment in 1991 as Chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Gettysburg Foundation. Additionally, he has, throughout the years, researched American history, writing books and articles for scholarly presentation, and giving speeches and tours at Civil War battlefields to the avid American Civil War audience.
Brown is the author of six books, all of which have been selections of the History Book Club and Military Book Club. Starting in 2007, Brown extended his historical pursuits to writing, hosting, and producing eight award-winning documentary films for public and cable television. He is the president and content developer of the Witnessing History Education Foundation, Inc., a qualified IRS Section 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax exempt, corporation, the sole mission of which is to produce high quality documentary films on all aspects of American history for purposes of broadcast on public and cable television channels and other platforms all across the country and overseas.
Brown lives in Lexington with his wife, Genevieve, and their three children, Annie Louise, Philip, and Thomas.
An exclusive interview with Brown about Meade at Gettysburg is available on the ECW YouTube page.
The ECW Book Award Committee also took time to offer praise for this year’s honorable mention. “Ty Seidule’s Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause is a relatable and readable journey through the experiences of a military officer encountering the legacy and memory of the Civil War’s Lost Cause,” the committee said. “It is a captivating narrative that gets to the root of complexities remembering the conflict while highlighting just how ingrained Confederate memory can be. The book also achieves what many Civil War authors strive for by engaging both the Civil War community and the general public. For expanding the dialogue around how the Civil War is remembered, and the role of that conflict and its memory in today’s society, Seidule’s book is most deserving of recognition.”
Historian Chris Mackowski, in his original review of the book published on the Emerging Civil War blog, called Robert E. Lee and Me “one of the most important books to come out in years about the way we, as a society, remember the Civil War and what we do about it.”
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Emerging Civil War is the collaborative effort of more than two-dozen historians committed to sharing the story of the Civil War in an accessible way. Founded in 2011 by Kris White and Chris Mackowski, Emerging Civil War features public and academic historians of diverse backgrounds and interests, while also providing a platform for emerging voices in the field. Initiatives include the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series of books published by Savas Beatie, LLC; the “Engaging the Civil War” Series published by Southern Illinois University Press; an annual symposium; a speakers bureau; and a daily blog: www.emergingcivilwar.com.
Emerging Civil War is recognized by the I.R.S. as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation.