by Sukey HowardJune, 1999
Prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz covered his boyhood bedroom walls with a mural of Civil War battles. Years later, wanting to understand the enormous, enduring appeal of this bloodiest of all American wars, Horwitz set out on a two-year trek. The result is Confederates in the Attic (6 hrs), a humorous, perceptive journalist's journey through 15 states and into the minds and motivations of people for whom the War is as alive today as it was in 1865. Horwitz took part in Civil War reenactments and even embarked on a wargasm with a hardcore reenactor. This involved intense, arduous touring of historic sites, under period conditions wearing faintly fetid uniforms and eating frightful food, among other grim realities. Beyond chiggers and rain-soaked nights, the grimmest realities Horwitz found are that race remains a raw, unresolved issue, and remembrance can often be an excuse for divisiveness. Don't miss this clear-eyed blend of history, travelogue, and intelligent observation.