Pop mags, pop reviewers

One reader recently wrote privately, another posted to Usenet, on shortcomings in Russel Beatie's Army of the Potomac. As a Beatie admirer, I want to acknowledge these in a future post soon.

My correspondent says, "I read John Hennessy's very harsh (overly harsh, IMO) review of [Beatie's] vol. 1 in CWTI/America's Civil War..." He also remarks that the same glossies previously set Geoffrey Perrett to reviewing - beating up - Brooks Simpson.

Is America's Civil War having pop historians review the work of scholars? Are the editors even aware of the distinction?

The glossies pack a lot of aggravation for the buck.