Bonekemper's sales figures

Author Edward Bonekemper disclosed sales figures for his two best-known books recently in a conversation with the Lancaster (PA) press.

He said that How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War sold 7,500 copies and A Victor, Not a Butcher came behind with 7,000 in sales. The interesting thing about these figures is that Lee was brought out by the miniscule Sergeant Kirkland's Press and Victor was brought out by powerhouse trade shop Regnery. My assumption is that Kirkland figures gave him entree to Regnery. Even at 7,000 in hardback sales, I'd be surprised if Regnery does not eventually issue Victor in paper.

Bonekemper writes advocacy history, as the titles of his books suggest. He is supremely lazy as a researcher, rarely citing anything published since the Centennial, larding his bibliographies overwhelmingly with secondary sources. He is careful not to weigh evidence or contrary opinion in books that read like extended newspaper editorials. He will cherry pick themes and memes from his secondary sources in order to give them the newspaper treatment in his own work and in this his appetite far outstrips his ability to manage the material. His first book (Lee) was his best book, on a relative scale.

Bonekemper's success should be an encouragement to every bad historian with an awful mauscript to sell.