and the second one is coming up this weekend. There are already a bunch of people signed up for it. I am excited. Needless to say I have had the Civil War era on the brain for a while, but especially lately.
I guess I just can’t help myself. It just fascinates me so much. It always has. The first two Civil War books I ever got were The Civil War by Robert Jordan and The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War by Bruce Catton. Those two books really drew me in. So much of those books made an impression on me that even now I can remember a lot from them. I especially remember some of the spectacular artwork and photographs: all the magnificent Winslow Homer sketches; the Tom Lovell painting of the 54th Massachusetts in Jordan’s book; the countless fascinating period photographic images. I gave my copies away to my nephews years ago, but recently I thought about getting my own copies again, and so I have already gotten a copy of the Jordan book through AbeBooks, one of my favorite places to shop. The Catton book will be next.
After all these years, that period of history still just fascinates me. And honestly, I think that I will never get tired of it. There is just so much out there to learn, and I am constantly finding new subjects to read and learn about. I know I want to go to graduate school, and I have thought about getting a PhD in history for at least 20 years or so. More recently I have been thinking that perhaps a broader degree program, such as American Studies, might be a better thing since it will allow me to choose my own courses and design my own program. I would like to put together something with history, archaeology, literature, museum studies, women’s studies, and whatever else I can that is available. I think it has the potential to be a truly defining event for me, as a historian and as a person. So hopefully I will be able to take the GRE sometime in the next year and be admitted to graduate school no later than the fall of 2014. I am not getting any younger and I can’t put it off forever. Getting a full-time history job at some historic site or historical society would literally be a dream come true.