There's a new book on non-ACW re-enactors that appears to have taken years of experience to write.
I looked at the book and it was journalism; it read like (was no deeper than) this NYT article by the book's author.
You work for years and you come up with this ...
Thompson figures it’s all about her subjects’ conflicted feelings about war and masculinity, the ownership of history and "the failure of modern society to provide social relationships on a human scale."
That's not the author, that's someone characterizing her stuff. With a flashing red light. Here's an audio interview with her.
Humans re-enact. Communion rites are re-enactments. Religious re-enactments allow people to enter sacred time.
Historical re-enactments allow people to enter historical time. Look carefully at what re-enactors say about their motivations and especially what makes a "good" re-enactment versus a "bad" one. The re-enactor is looking for a transforming moment of connection - a moment in historical time - and takes a lot of trouble to get there.
Social relationships are simply the media for re-enactments.
I think Mircea Eliade owns the key insights in re-enactment.