Monday, April 09, 2018

Charles P. Roland turns 100

Happy Birthday to Charles P. Roland, who wrotein my opinionthe best short, single-volume history of the Civil War: An American Iliad: The Story of the Civil War (University Press of Kentucky). 

I had the pleasure of sitting with Dr. Roland at dinner one evening, during a Jerry Russell-sponsored battlefield conference. When he learned I had attended college in Evansville, Indiana, it reminded him of his best buddy in WWII, who hailed from Evansville, and Roland related some stories from their adventures at the Battle of the Bulge. 

Roland is a great historian, a fascinating man, and a pleasant dinner companion. I'm glad to hear he's still going strong. Roland also wrote what used to me, and what may still be, the only scholarly biography of General Albert Sydney Johnston (Albert Sydney Johnston: Soldier of Three Republics). While visiting the Shiloh battlefield last weekend, where Johnston was killed, I noticed that this (now revised) book is still in print (also from the University Press of Kentucky). 

Those are two great books from a great university press. Here's hoping Governor Matt Bevin's "petty and barbaric" (quoting eminent Kentuckian Wendell Berry) efforts to close the press are thwarted.