Grateful American Book Prize

Patriotic Pick for November 2023

This Infernal War

The Civil War Letters of William and Jane Standard

Edited by Timothy Mason Roberts

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here is one such title, suggested by Grateful American™ Book Prize judge Dr. Peter S. Carmichael, the Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College:

“This Infernal War”: The Civil War Letters of William and Jane Standard, edited by Timothy Mason Roberts (Kent State University Press). “One of the most persistent falsehoods in history is that during a time of war, women have always been spectators. Nothing could be farther from the truth,” says Carmichael. “In [this book], one finds a remarkable set of letters between an Illinois couple. Both were Democrats, both thought Lincoln was a tyrant, and both opposed emancipation, but William had no option but to enlist because of the draft. From the day he left, Jane never stopped reminding him that he was sacrificing his family to fight for a questionable cause…[This exceptional book] reminds us that couples endured suffering and separation not in isolation, but together, as they tried to survive the maelstrom of war.”

Patriotic Pick is a monthly feature in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

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