Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War

CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC: DISPATCHES FROM THE UNFINISHED CIVIL WAR Tony Horwitz (Pantheon, $27.50) When he wakes up one day to find gray-uniformed men firing muskets in front of his Virginia house, Civil War buff Horwitz, a Wall Street Journal reporter, decides to delve into America’s continuing obsession with the war. In the course of a fascinating one-year, nine-state journey, Horwitz finds plenty of targets for funny social commentary — like the battle reenactors who insist upon absolute fidelity to 1860s detail, marching barefoot in unwashed homespun clothing and eating rancid salt pork. But his forays into more serious territory — a courtroom where a young black man is on trial for murdering the driver of a truck draped with the Confederate flag, a high school history class where students date slavery’s abolition at somewhere between 1900 and 1940 — hint at darker legacies that cry out for deeper exploration. B+