Have you ever written a book review?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Going Archival . . . Poll Results

Question: "How important is it to you that a Civil War book be based upon exrtensive [sic] archival research?

Very important. Otherwise, why write it? 36 votes (83%)

Important, but not that critical to me: 6 votes (13%)

I can look past that. Secondary sources are fine: 1 vote (2%)

Meh. I will read anything with Civil War in the title: 0 votes (0%)

This question generated a lot of interest, both in the comment section and in emails (and a few calls) to me. I think the verdict is about as lopsided as I expected given the readership of my blog. Someone made the distinction that archival research and primary research are not necessarily the same--a good point, although not germane to the poll question, which did not link the two.
(Only JD asked what I meant by "archival." OK, he really did not ask that.)
Thank you for participating.


Anonymous said...

Historians want to believe that vital 'archival research' is what they do best, yet fail to acknowledge that analysis is absolutely paramount.

Unearthing new info 'from an obscure private' will not change our impression of the Civil War. Taking on the meaning of the war as it applies to today and tomorrow makes fo more rewarding reading, and just maybe, better sales.

J David Petruzzi said...


Har har.