Friday, December 02, 2011
Book Review: Civil War Lexington, Kentucky
The History Press has just released a new book by Joshua and Karen Leet, titled Civil War Lexington, Kentucky: Bluegrass Breeding Ground of Power. In the interest of full disclosure, I was introduced to the Leets by fellow author Stephen Zimmer who invited me to their launch at The Morris Book Shop, here in Lexington, where I am sure you can still get autographed copies.
At first glance, you might think that Lexington is an odd choice for a Civil War book. There were no great battles fought in the city, nor was Lexington a key strategic location. Instead, Lexington contributed her greatest minds, bravest hearts, and most loyal citizens to the war. Civil War Lexington, Kentucky reflects the people, North and South, who loved their home state and fought for what they believed was in her best interests.
Joshua and Karen Leet take a history lovers' look at Lexington's leading families and Lexington's role in shaping United States history, and how Lexingtonian lives were changed by the war that divided the country. There is no deeply footnoted scholarly text to wade through; this is a book that is friendly to the lay reader. It's also the sort of book for history lovers, Civil War buffs, and anyone who loves Kentucky history. Certainly, there is enough meat to the text to be worthy of the researcher's shelf, but it also belongs in the gift shops of state parks and Kentucky historical sites, particularly those in the Bluegrass.
I am very happy to have this slim volume as a new addition to my Kentucky history bookshelf, and will be referring to it often to enrich the background of my novels.