Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pathway to Hell: A Tragedy of the American Civil

Shell shock, battle fatigue, posttraumatic stress disorder, lack of moral courage: different terms for the same mental condition, formal names that change with observed circumstances and whenever experts feel prompted to coin a more suitable descriptive term for the shredding of the human spirit. Although the specter of psychological dysfunction has marched alongside all soldiers in all wars, always at the ready to ravish minds, rarely is it discussed when the topic is America’s greatest conflict, the Civil War. Yet mind-destroying terror was as present at Gettysburg and Antietam as in Vietnam and today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drawing almost exclusively from extensive primary accounts, Dennis W. Brandt presents a detailed case study of mental stress that is exceptional in the vast literature of the American Civil War. Pathway to Hell offers sobering insight into the horrors that war wreaked upon one young man and illuminates the psychological aspect of the War Between the States.

On April 25th from noon to 3PM From My Shelf Books & Gifts will be hosting a duel author event with William P. Robertson and Jeffrey Stayton. William P. Robertson is the author of the Bucktail series and Jeffrey Stayton is the author of the recently published This Side of the River.

This Side of the River tells the story of a group of young, angry Confederate widows who band together at the end of the Civil War, take up arms, and march north to Ohio to burn down the home of General William Tecumsah Sherman.

It draws from the rich tradition of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Charles Baxter's The Feast of Love as it interweaves themes of gender, revenge, and redemption. It's a masterfully-written debut from a bold new literary voice.

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