When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again, this time from a war close to home and to his own heart.
Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.
In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hard-core' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'
Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.
1. Confederates in the Attic
2. North Carolina: Cats of the Confederacy
3. South Carolina: In the Better Half of the World
4. South Caroline: Shades of Gray
5. Kentucky: Dying for Dixie
6. Virginia: A Farb of the Heart
7. Tennessee: At the Foote of the Master
8. Tennessee: The Ghost Marks of Shiloh
9. Mississippi: The Minie Ball Pregnancy
10. Virginia and Beyond: The Civil Wargasm
11. Georgia: Gone With the Window
12. Georgia: Still Prisoners of the War
13. Alabama: Only Living Confederate Widow Tells Some
14. Alabama: I Had a Dream
15. Strike the Tent
Confederates in the Attic
Tony Horwitz first wrote about the South and the Civil War as a third-grader in Maryland when he pencilled a book that began: “The War was started when after all the states had sececed (sic).” He went on to write about war full-time as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, reporting on conflicts in Bosnia, the Middle East, Africa, and Northern Ireland. After a decade abroad, Horwitz moved to a crossroads in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where he now works as a staff writer for The New Yorker.
Confederates in the Attic is Horwitz’s third book, following the national bestseller, Baghdad Without A Map and other Misadventures in Arabia, and One For The Road: Hitchhiking Through the Australian Outback, to be reissued this year by Vintage. His awards include the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1995, and the Overseas Press Club Award for best foreign news reporting in 1992, for his coverage of the Gulf War. Before becoming a reporter, Horwitz lived and worked in rural Kentucky and Mississippi and produced a PBS documentary about Southern timber workers.
A graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Horwitz and his wife—Geraldine Brooks, also a journalist and author—have a young son, Nathaniel. They live in Waterford, Virginia.