Analysis of Tony Horwitz's Book, Confederates in the Attic Essay

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The American Civil war is considered to be one of the most defining moments in American history. It is the war that shaped the social, political and economic structure with a broader prospect of unifying the states and hence leading to this ideal nation of unified states as it is today. In the book “Confederates in the Attic”, the author Tony Horwitz gives an account of his year long exploration through the places where the U.S. Civil War was fought. He took his childhood interest in the Civil War to a new level by traveling around the South in search of Civil War relics, battle fields, and most importantly stories. The title “Confederates in the Attic”: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War carries two meanings in Tony Horwitz’s…show more content…
At the beginning of the book, Horowitz sets up the background for his spellbinding interest in the American Civil War. Horwitz wrote this book shortly after settling in Virginia following several years as a journalist overseas. The consciousness out of which Tony Horwitz witnessed conflicts in foreign war zones for decades was imbued with an obsession, sustained since childhood, with the legacy of the American Civil War. When Tony Horwitz was 6, in the 1960's, he learned that his 101-year-old great-grandfather, Isaac Moses Perski, an immigrant from czarist Russia, was an American Civil War buff. So was Horwitz's father. Horwitz became one too. One purpose of this book is to reexamine this connection, to question why a liberal Northerner should find himself drawn to stories and figures that represent much that he has worked against in his own life.What explains this non-Southern, nonmilitary family's fascination with a horrible conflict in which their ancestors had no part? That, the first question raised by Horwitz's splendid commemoration of the war and its legacy, is never quite answered. Appropriately so, perhaps, because Horwitz gives us the Civil War in which Americans see all sorts of unresolved strife: over race, sovereignty, the sanctity of historic landscapes and who should interpret the past. One morning, he hears gunfire outside his house. It turned out to be a group of Civil War reenactors, decked out in Confederate uniforms, filming a scene

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