Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Review #8: The Authentic South of Gone with the Wind

            There’s a wealth of information on the Old South for those writing historical romance centering around the antebellum period and/or the Civil War. The Authentic South of ‘Gone with the Wind’: The Illustrated Guide to the Grandeur of a Lost Era by Bruce Wexler (Courage Books, 2007) is just one of many books that profile life as it was ‘back then’.
             Similar information is available in other books, but this volume compresses it into a nice birds-eye view for writers who for whatever reason may not need to do a great deal of in-depth research. Sometimes just skimming the cream is good—and this book is rich in that commodity.         
             I always look at books on this subject with a wary eye, because I want the facts, not a glorification of a way of life that existed to the detriment of the human condition of another group.
            It’s an oversized hardback, liberally illustrated with beautiful color photographs taken on-site in many of the restored homes open to tourists, as well as snapshots of period artifacts. It begins with the story of Margaret Mitchell and how she came to write the blockbuster novel of 1936.
            Chapter Two deals with plantation houses and devotes a section  to Stately Oaks in Jonesboro, Georgia, which was literally sawn in half and moved to its present location for restoration!
            Chapter Three discusses the institution of slavery with a section on ‘King Cotton’ which rose and fell on the slave labor, which the South fought to retain.
            Southern hospitality is the focus of Chapter Four, which includes recipes and fashion notes for those ‘southern belles’ who inspired gallantry in the male species.
            Chapter Five includes information about the Civil War, nursing, medical care, Confederate flags, and uniforms and equipment. A visit to the CSA Armory at Macon, Georgia, finishes the warfare discussion.
            Carpetbaggers, scalawags, and blockade-runners populate Chapter Six. Finally, you can read about the making of the movie which sprang from Margaret Mitchell’s manuscript.
             I found the book online at Amazon.com for a ‘used’ price.

FTC Disclaimeer: I have received no remuneration of any kind for reviewing this book.


Alannah Lynne said...

Hi Judy!!

I think you're the Judy I met last night in TWRP's chat room and I just wanted to say "hi."

I really enjoyed hanging out with you and hope to make it to the Tues. night chats more often!!

Have a great day!!

K9friend said...

Ooooh! That one sounds right up my alley!

Kathy Otten said...

This sounds like the kind of book I'd love to have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Debra St. John said...

Oooh, I need to put this book on my list. I love the old south and the Civil War era.

Thanks for sharing this resource!

AnneMarie Novark said...

Great book review, Judy!!!

Hey Alannah!!! I was at the chat last night, too.

Mary Ricksen said...

Yup, got me!

Linda Swift said...

Hi Judy, I didn't make it over yesterday but I flagged your post so I'd be sure to check it out. A very informative review and I will get this book for a reference for the second and third books I plan to add to my first Civil War historical. That is my favorite time in US history.
And congratulations on your TWRP book release. I wish you much success with sales. Linda