Saturday, March 04, 2006

Anticipation: I don't know it, when I don't look for it.

Further to earlier discussion on IPBiz about Tom Carhart's Lost Triumph , we have a couple more book reviews:

David Hackett Fischer: Tom Carhart's Lost Triumph (Putnam), "is, amazingly, a new, original and important contribution to our understanding of the battle of Gettysburg." "It gives us a new sense of (Robert E.) Lee, (Jeb) Stuart and
(George Armstrong) Custer." from Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), July 3, 2005.

Grant A. Fredericksen: Historians have long maintained that Gen. Robert E. Lee lost the Battle of Gettysburg by sending Gen. George Pickett's forces against the center
of the Union line on an apparent suicide mission. Yet this action, argues
Carhart (history, Univ. of Maryland), contradicts all of Lee's tactics in
previous battles, when he engaged not just a small part but his entire force in
a crucial fight. As a West Point graduate and teacher, Lee was well versed in
battle strategies and would have never sent Pickett against Union lines
without a plan of support. A Vietnam veteran, military history author, and West Point graduatehimself, Carhart introduces a revisionist view of Lee's strategies for this battle that, had it been successful, would have drastically changed the course of history. Carhart makes his case carefully, describing Lee's training at West Point and his battlefield experience before the Civil War, as well as classic battles in history that would have affected his strategies in early
July 1863.

Fischer and Fredericksen neglect to point out that Carhart's theory had been published long before Carhart published it. If historians can't perform rudimentary analyses of books on the shelves, certain academics ought to lighten up on the USPTO, which faces a much tougher task.

In distinction to the reviews by Fischer and Fredericksen, we have the opinion of Richard MacLeod at Dark Cloud / Dark Endeavors.


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