Historian Reviews Southern General’s Record, Revises it via New Critical Study

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In ‘John Bell Hood: Extracting Truth From History,’ author Thomas J. Brown has written an important work on a formidable but misrepresented Confederate general.

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Does the Battle of Gettysburg represent the turning point of the American Civil War, or did that occur elsewhere? As the United States celebrates the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Civil War, many people across America remain unaware of anything but the rote details. Thomas J. Brown has written a book to remedy these misconceptions. John Bell Hood: Extracting Truth From History discusses a controversial and often criticized Southern general and brings to the forefront the importance of the western theater in the Civil War.

In connection with the Southern defeat, Lost Cause advocates, those great pro-Confederacy propagandists, found convenient scapegoats to blame. One of these is Confederate General John Bell Hood. The thesis that is the basis for this book contends that the Lost Cause is wrong and Hood’s historical treatment has been unjust. Standard critical works of John Bell Hood over the years have tended to characterize him as rash, overaggressive, and lacking in strategic imagination. For such prejudiced historians, Hood appears as old-fashioned and limited logistically to the frontal assault. These accounts mainly stress Hood’s negative aspects as a general and tend to center around the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. This book, by analyzing each battle that Hood commanded as a leader of the Army of Tennessee, reveals him as a bold, imaginative, and complex leader. He was arguably a capable brigade and division commander in the Confederate States Army (CSA), but historians tend to blame him for the decisive defeats in Atlanta and the Franklin-Nashville campaign. This book revises that view convincingly while also exploring the historical treatment of his Union counterpart General George Henry Thomas.

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About the Author
Thomas J. Brown was born in Oakland, CA on April 10, 1950. He was an accomplished athlete, historian, teacher, and coach. Tom loved learning and returned to college at San Jose State University in 2002, where he pursued a Masters Degree in U.S. History. He completed his thesis project on Confederate General John Bell Hood in 2011, and the opus was nominated as Thesis of the Year. Tom was an active member of the Monterey Scottish Society, the American Civil War Association, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. He was proud to claim General George Henry Thomas as his link to the association. In addition to his historical pursuits, Tom was a passionate rider of a Harley Davidson Road King, a lover of all animals, and a wonderful husband, son, and brother. He passed away of prostate cancer on November 14, 2011.

John Bell Hood: Extracting Truth From History * by Thomas J. Brown
Publication Date: 12/13/2012
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 146 pages; 978-1-4797-1323-3
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 146 pages; 978-1-4797-1324-0
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-1325-7

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