What do you want in a tour book?

David Eicher has long been a Civil War author well worth watching. Although working within the obsolete doctrinal framework of the Centennial Civil War narrative, he has a keen eye for the discordant or unique item. Why he does not arrange these into patterns is probably just a matter of time; meanwhile his "conventional" interpretations of the usual subjects tend to be peppered with all sorts of interesting material.

Eicher is too bright and analytical to keep inside the limits set by the editorial board of American Heritage so many decades ago. Witness some new thinking in his tour guide, revised and rereleased this month: Civil War Battlefields. The underlying concept is to tell the informed reader how much of the battle can be experienced at the battlefield park (how much of the battlefield is under management).

Witness also the monumental piece of research he and his father John collaborated on, Civil War High Commands. This book is so fundamental to ACW research and writing, it is hard to believe it came into existence as recently as 2001.

Make time for David Eicher.