I am a fan of the University of Missouri Press. They did a tremendously gutsy thing a few years ago in taking over the vast Eric Voegelin publishing project from Louisiana State University Press and actually expanding it. (Voegelin was a philosopher of history.) They have also given the excellent ACW historian Herman Hattaway a publishing forum in his co-stewardship of their Shades of Blue and Gray Civil War publishing program.

A reader writes that in autumn, this press will release "Resounding Bugle": Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era edited by Mark Snell and Bruce Kelley. This book will speak directly to the music and culture thread developing this week right here, and I am prepared to eat some humble pie once I see the book. I don't know Bruce Kelley's work, but Mark Snell is very reliable. There will be nine essays by both historians and musicologists written in non-specialist terms. We'll spend some quality time with this tome. If I have to eat Goober Peas, I'll do so (but I won't like it).

Speaking of Mark Snell and Herman Hattaway, these are two names associated with an interesting Shades of Blue and Gray project, one also involving Archer Jones and Ethan Rafuse, both of whom I like very much. Hattaway and Rafuse collected essays from the defunct magazine Columbiad: A Quarterly Review of the War between the States. And Columbiad had a mission very dear to the heart of this blog: try to reach the ACW mass audience with "good history." Teach them right from wrong, good from bad.

The good people who founded Columbiad recognized we have a serious history content problem in Civil War nonfiction. Story-driven audiences reward the best talespinner, marginalizing content. What Hattaway and Rafuse did in selecting essays from Columbiad was a try for a "selection of the essays that best represent the successful balance between 'serious scholarship' and a narrative reading style preferred by the educated layman." Have a look at The Ongoing Civil War: New Versions of Old Stories. Mark Snell has an essay in that one too.