Griffin Bay Book Club Friday night, August 30, 7:00 pm in the café
CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC
This month Griffin Bay Book Club is reading the late Tony Horwitz’s fascinating exploration of the Civil War and its legacy in the South, Confederates in the Attic. Please join us on Friday night, August 30, 7:00 pm, for a discussion of a book that’s filled with humor, history, cultural myths, and the author’s always excellent journalism.
For all who remain intrigued by the legacy of the Civil War -- reenactors, battlefield visitors, Confederate descendants and other Southerners, history fans, students of current racial conflicts, and more -- this ten-state adventure is part travelogue, part social commentary and always good-humored.
When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.
Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, 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 who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'
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. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.
About the author
The late Tony Horwitz was a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He spent a decade overseas as a foreign correspondent, mainly covering wars and conflicts for The Wall Street Journal. After returning to the U.S., he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and wrote for The New Yorker before becoming a full-time author.
His books include the national and New York Times bestsellers, Confederates in the Attic, Blue Latitudes, Baghdad Without a Map and A Voyage Long and Strange. Midnight Rising, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2011; one of the year’s ten best books by Library Journal; and won the 2012 William Henry Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography.
Tony Horwitz’s final book, Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide, just published in May, is a follow up to Confederates in the Attic.
Please join us on Friday night August 30 7:00 pm.
Griffin Bay Book Club invites all readers and book lovers to join our discussions. Our reading experiences are enhanced and enriched through our members’ different perspectives. Join us throughout the year on the last Friday of the month.