This is one of the oddest origins-of-a-book story ever.
A director is shooting a film.
He creates a team of two authors to write a book about the film's subject.
The authors enter a specific, deeply plowed ACW history field to compile a rockem-sockem narrative on the QT with almost no research: "we spent a number of weeks in Mississippi together, filling in holes in the research [!] and borrowing groundbreaking material from Jim Kelly, who is writing his dissertation on the subject."
Weeks of plugging and borrowing. You see, the research has been done to death, including in a trade hardback I reviewed 10 years ago which they disparagingly call an "academic monograph". The holes are to be plugged in other people's work and augmented with a new dissertation by a student.
OPM = Other People's Money. OPR = Other People's Research.
The authors include a sportswriter and the chair of a Harvard department.
In addition to cranking out hit history titles, sounds like these two could run a pretty good whorehouse.