Hyannis's books


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I read Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell again this week get ready to see The Barnstable Comedy Club’s production of “Moonlight and Magnolias” (see below) and now I am stoked on the topic of the Civil War. As you already know, it was not really a romantic time in our nation’s history.

Here are my two most recent picks:

Cape Cod and the Civil War: the Raised Right Arm by Stauffer Miller

This small, powerful book is well-researched and well-written. Former Barnstable resident Stauffer Miller puts in plain words the political and economic climates on Cape Cod in the decades leading up to the Civil War as well as clearly describes the fishermen, slave runners, town leaders, abolitionists, Army recruiters, and, of course, the youth of “right arm of the Bay State” during the war years. The Cape was fully enmeshed in the controversy.

The book’s references, index, and appendices are excellent. Most sobering is the appendix of all the familiar surnames of those who were killed in action, died of wounds, or died of disease. (Non-fiction)

Seen the Glory: a Novel of The Battle of Gettysburg by John Hough, Jr.
In this superb novel, local author John Hough gives a vivid picture of life in the Union Army during the Civil War as he tells the coming-of-age story of two young brothers who sign on to serve in the Twentieth Massachusett Volunteer Infantry.

Luke and Thomas Chandler grew up on Martha's Vineyard, reared by their abolitionist father and Rose Miranda, their beautiful and educated Cape Verdean housekeeper. When an Army recruiter comes to the island, the boys are determined to join the fight against slavery and eagerly enlist in the storied Twentieth Massachusetts.

Rose is more than a housekeeper for the Chandlers. She is the vocal conscience of the family, and the decision of the boys to enlist is influenced as much by her as by one other. After the brothers leave Martha’s Vineyard, however, Rose finds that without Luke’s protection that even she, a free woman of color in the North, is the victim of malicious prejudice and violence.

Seen the Glory portrays life in the Army of the Potomac as no other novel ever has. The climactic battle and the aftermath at Gettysburg is startling. John Hough does full justice to the townspeople, including free blacks suddenly imperiled by the arrival of the Confederate army, and the Rebel soldiers themselves, battle hardened, war weary, yet convinced they are fighting for a just cause. A tender, heartbreaking, and brutal story. (Fiction)

More on the Cape Cod and the Civil War can be found in Jim Coogan’s 5/10/11 opinion piece in The Cape Cod Times.

OMG! You’ve never read Gone With the Wind and Selznick needs your help to rewrite the script or else the whole production will be scrapped? Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!

Let the Barnstable Comedy Club
give you the inside story on one of the most famous
panics of The Golden Age of Hollywood as it presents
Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson
Directed by Marti Baker
May 12-14; May 20 -21; and May 27 -28 at 8 p. m.
May 15, 22, and 29 at 2:30 p. m.
Tickets are $16, and $14 for students and seniors.

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