Neglected Book

Paludan, Philip, Victims: A True Story of the Civil War (1981).

The most neglected book, I believe, is Philip Paludan's Victims: A True Story of the Civil War, published in 1981. The book never received the kind of praise that it deserved for so nicely combining anthropology, history, and folk lore into a compelling story. As important, in telling the story of the massacre at Shelton Laurel, Paludan wrote with exceptional grace and an amazing instinct for the human condition. I have used the book several times in class, and each time the students are absolutely moved by the story. The only close competitor is Henry David's classic work, The Haymarket Riot, which does a similarly fine job of recovering the stories of people caught in a web of violence and then drawing from them a larger understanding about the human condition.

Recommended by Kermit L. Hall, President and Professor of History, Utah State University

Kermit L. Hall holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota and a MSL from the Yale Law School. His research and teaching have concentrated on American constitutional and legal history, and he is the author of The Magic Mirror: Law in American History (Oxford University Press, 1991), and the editor-in-chief of the award winning Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (1992). He is also the author or co-author of five other books, more than 100 articles in history, political science, and law journals, and the editor or co-editor of twelve other works. President Hall also served as one of the five members of the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board from 1994-1999.