Well, I was not disappointed in the least. The style is the same as the Grant volume, and the format is the same. None the less, it reads very well and is very informative, although not as entertaining as I would have liked, thus the 4 stars. One thing for sure, you'll get to know Lee very well reading this book. And there are many lessons to be had from the reading, possibly one on every page, if you feel so inclined.
As with the Grant volume, Mr. Holton takes one area of leadership and reports how Lee acted in regards to that item (Patriot Voice, Duty are 2 examples). Each discussion is contained on one page! A very good use of words by the writer makes this work. Then it's on to the next, then the next, the next, and so on. One can read one page and think about it, or take a couple of hours and polish off the whole book!! I perferred the slower method.
However you choose to read this bbok, make sure that you do read it, and the Grant volume also. You'll get a good look at 2 very important military minds of our short history. You'll also learn some important lessons on how to deal with people and situations, in both business and personal life. Well done Mr. Holton. Thank you!
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They are particularly useful in learning about the various nomenclature, as well as the physical and chemical properties of a functional group in a given homologous series.
"OrgoCards" impressed me with the way it handled those nucleophilic substitution reactions that members of Carbonyl group undergo. Despite its haphazard lessons on Acylation, its efforts on Alcohols, Aldehydes, Ketones, Esters, and Carboxylic acids are quite commendable.
This "OrgoCards: Organic Chemistry Review" should be seen either as a textbook complement, or a notebook alternative. I will suggest that you consider buying it if your lecturer is the type that is not enthusiastic about giving class-notes.
I tried making my own flashcards but I found them immediately obsolete after I got Orgocards which contain the critical information in a very understandable and easy to read format. They were also really a critical part of my studying for the bio section of the MCAT since a lot of the detailed info from o-chem had become a bit fuzzy by that point.
A definite must buy.
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Two years later, out comes this book, Dead Cats Bouncing, from Bedlam Press, an anthology edited by the creators, Gerard Houarner and GAK.
With a contents pages that reads like a who's who of the small press horror scene, we're treated to 15 new Dead Cat stories, plus the original, by authors like Jack Ketchum, Ed Lee, Charlee Jacob, Yvonne Navarro, and Brian Keene. The styles of the stories range wildly from the original short-burst sentence style of the first Dead Cat, to more traditional flowing prose, all the way to sing-songy rhythms like John Skipp's contribution "Soul Maggot Jamboree".
And accompanying the great stories are the pencilled drawings of GAK, an artist with a definite Gahan Wilson influence, with a terrific eye for the smaller details--and he draws a hell of a dead cat.
Dead Cats Bouncing is one surprise after another. For example, I did something I don't normally do when reading an Ed Lee story: I laughed.
Or there's the entertaining way Paul Di Filippo wrote his story, "Mehitabel in Hell".
This is a book for the kid in every adult, for the person who's seen what else is on the shelves and just wants something unexpected.
Call it a book of bedtime stories for the already-damaged child.
Call it whatever you want, just grab it quick before Gerard and GAK do it again with another Dead Cat book, or better yet, Dead Cat the Animated Series. And then it'll be Dead Cat stuffed toys for everyone.
The premise of these tale, forged by Gak and Houarner as they sought and almost captured a Stoker Award, focuses on the exploits of Dead Cat, who was a sacrifice to the goddess Bastet and finds that being in the land of the dead is quite boring. There are no happy hunting grounds filled with birds or mice, no naps and dreams of bliss, or any of the other things that a cat needs to enjoy themselves when finding oneself outside the land of the livelihood. In fact, all Bastet tells him to do is, "eat sand." So, what's a cat to do when confronted with a dilemma like this? Why, return to the land of the living without becoming alive, of course! Most of these portraits of the Dead Cat's "life" are written in choppy sentences, focusing themselves from the thoughts of Dead Cat himself and not in the narration aspect of storytelling, with a few of the writers deviating from that course. At first I found this practice somewhat questionable, but I soon overcame this initial hesitation and found the style enjoyable and, in many instances, funny. This came as quite a surprise, too, because I never thought of many of these writers in the comedic sense before reading DCB.
This isn't to say that the book is a challenging read, because that is far from the case. I found myself finishing it within an hour, covering the two-hundred plus pages of large print in what amounted to no time at all and longing for more. Still, the captivating prospects of a cat that evades death for no other reason than boredom is something worthwhile and deserving of a look, especially if you want to see writers in a different light. Recommended for the oddities, young and old (with attention paid to the profane, of course)!
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Gallagher begins by examining Lee's Maryland campaign, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the army's campaigns in 1864. His conclusions on the Battle of Gettysburg and its effects on the Confederate home front are particularly interesting. He concludes that the battle was not the overwhelming defeat to the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate home front that it would later be portayed as by historians. He makes the argument that the loss of Vicksburg was seen as a vastly bigger loss and Gettysburg was more seen as a small defeat or even a victory because of Meade's failure to chase the Confederates in retreat.
Gallagher also includes an interesting essay evaluating the claims of some historians that Lee was not fighting a modern war with modern tactics and if he had done so, the Confederacy would have been better off. He ably demonstrates that indeed Lee did understand the difference in technology such as the minie ball and its impact on strategy and tactics.
However, the best essay is Gallagher's essay on the Lost Cause "myth". Gallagher explains that many of the claims that were later associated only with Lost Cause historians such as Jubal Early or Douglass Southall Freeman, were actually developed during the war and immediately following the war prior to any claims made by Early and others. Thus some of the "myths" such as the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Union as part of the central cause of the Confederacy's defeat, is actually true. He draws the wonderful and correct conclusion that to dismiss the Lost Cause myths in their entirety does a major disservice to the historical profession and that discussing those Lost Cause claims that do have a basis in fact is not in fact giving any legitimacy to any neo-Confederate point of view concerning the centrality of slavery to the origin of the Civil War.
The one quibble, and the reason I gave this book four stars instead of five concerns Gallagher's essay "Fighting the Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church." I really couldn't find a point as to why this essay was included in the book, unless it was to demonstrate a hard and fast friendship link between Early and Lee that Gallagher does build upon in his essay on the Lost Cause. However, I still think the essay about Fredericksburg really doesn't belong in this format.
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He falls into the trap of the early CSA were just better and ignores the problems the Union had with building a Cavalry. He did an excellent job of covering this in his last book. Then, he falls into the better equipment trap w/o looking at how the war shifted tatics and the why ANoV failed to adapt.
This is not a bad book but a disapointment after his excellent "Lincoln's Cavalrymen".
Longacre gives a balanced picture of Stuart; it's hard to see how a historian of ANV cavalry could avoid writing about their commander for most of their existence, and Longacre offers both praise and criticism, as well as a couple of insightful points. He's not at all a Stuart partisan; in fact, one gets the feeling he would probably rank Hampton first in tactics.
This book offers a sensible account of the Confederate cavalry at (and not at) Gettysburg, and represents a modification of Longacre's view in his earlier book on the subject. In the earlier book Longacre seemed to accept the viewpoint that Stuart "should have" been present, whereas now, perhaps influenced by *Saber and Scapegoat* (which appears in his bibliography), he takes a more positive view.
Longacre is more original, and perhaps more questionable, when he analyzes the tactics of mounted charges. He claims that ANV troopers wanted to fight mounted, but with revolvers and other firearms rather than sabers, and I wish he had provided more supporting quotes, because I've read plenty of primary sources (Gilmor) where sabers are used with glee. His assertion that sabers were really more effective than firearms at close quarters is interesting, and he goes on to state that mounted charges really were of little use, being more or less outdated and causing high casualties. But did mounted fighting, which took place until the end of the war, actually result in more casualties than attrition, disease among horses and men, or the kind of dismounted fighting cavalrymen sometimes did in the West, where they were ordered to charge breastworks? (history of the 7th TN Cav). I wanted to see more analysis, more numbers and more quotes.
Certainly a complete and interesting account, as far as I know the only such work, and required reading for anyone interested in the topic.
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Dowdey describes, in rich detail, the initial Union planning and preparations for the amphibious landing on the York Peninsula (between the James and York Rivers). He details the Union Army of the Potomac's successful landing on the York Peninsula in May 1862 and its methodical advance up the peninsula towards Richmond led by its commanding officer, Major General George B. McClellan. The Confederate forces, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, are seen by Dowdey as ill-led as they continually retreated in successive fashion towards the outskirts of the Confederate capital and prepared themselves for a siege. Finally, with the Union Army divided north and south of the Chickahominy River, Dowdey chronicles Johnston's decision to turn on the Union forces at Seven Pines on May 31, only to fight an inconclusive battle. Johnston himself was wounded in the late hours of the battle, and his replacement was General Robert E. Lee, until that moment the military advisor to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Upon assuming command, Lee immediately devised a series of offensive strikes against the still-divided Union forces, but Dowdey argues that Lee's ultimate failure to crush the Union Army was due to a combination of many factors. Poor Confederate staff planning was in clear evidence from the beginning to the end of the Seven Days Battles. General Lee failed time and again to assume direct operational control of ever-changing battle situations where his subordinates failed to drive forward against the enemy (for example, "Stonewall" Jackson's failure to push forward his drive on the Confederate northern and left flank at the Battle of Mechaniscville). Lee was also hampered by the uneven quality of his subordinate commanders, particularly the deaf and old Theophilus Holmes, the inept Benjamin Huger and the mentally exhausted Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (who suffered, according to Dowdey, from stress fatigue). Last, but certainly not least, the surprisingly well disciplined, hard-fighting and well-led (at the brigade, divisional and corps levels) Union troops frustrated Lee's strategic and tactical battle plans at virtually every turn.
Dowdey's work provides wonderfully detailed descriptions of all of the major battles: Seven Pines, Fair Oaks Station, Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, Savage's Station and Malvern Hill. In addition, he also aids the reader by providing a series of detailed maps and descriptions of the complex web of major and minor roads and country lanes that were fundamental to the movement of the armies - Union and Confederate - during the Seven Days Battles. I found, however, one very annoying aspect about the work. I strongly disagreed with Dowdey's one-sided and dismissive view of Confederate General Joseph Johnston as a defeatist general who possessed no redeeming personal or military abilities. Johnston was clearly one of the most effective of all the Confederate generals, one whose primary concern was the care and welfare of the men under his command. He never took unnecessary risks in battle, for he knew that the Confederacy had a limited pool of available manpower with which to fight the Union.
Despite this one point of disagreement, I found Dowdey's work to be an excellent study of the Seven Days Battles. His insistence on "visual history" - that a historian must visit the battlefield that he is studying in order to more effectively understand the movements of the opposing armies, thereby aiding him in writing a work that the reader will follow clearly - is very much in evidence in this book.