Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy birthday Bruce Catton

Historian Bruce Catton was born on this day in 1899. Even before I discovered Shelby Foote or watched Ken Burns' PBS series, it was reading Catton's Army of the Potomac trilogy as a boy that created a lifelong interest in the American Civil War. I was hooked from the first chapter. One critic remarked, "if every historian wrote like him no one would read fiction!" Later on I had the chance to walk the hallowed grounds of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania where Mr. Lincoln's soldiers fought and died. Once again, it was Bruce Catton's narrative that brought those quiet fields to life. A great historian, and a great storyteller.

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