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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

Notices and Announcements

American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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Old 29 May 16, 09:12
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Daniel Popek's History of the Rhode Island Continentals

Daniel Popek's History of the Rhode Island Continentals, enbtitled They '...fought bravely, but were unfortunate:' The True Story of Rhode Island's 'Black Regiment' and the Failure of Segregation in Rhode Island's Continental Line, 1777-1783 is a very interesting volume which I received in the mail the other day.

I was prompted in buying it because it was mentioned in one of the Civil War threads, and as I am a student of the Continental Army I immediately ordered it.

I haven't had a chance to read the volume yet and it is a large book of 945 pages.

Having inspected it, however, it is awkward to both read and use as the book's organization is very poor. There are only about 239 pages of text and interspersed in the text are over 370 pages of tables which I think should have been put in the appendices, of which there are about 80 pages. worth. So of the 945 pages in the book over half are tables and appendices. The information is excellent and is the result of much painstaking work, but this should have been organized better. The book is much in need of an editor.

As the book was self-published, that is probably the problem.

The book is very well sourced and has nearly 150 pages of notes and at first view an excellent bibliography.

After I've read it and examined the source material, I'll make another posting on the volume. At first glance and inspection I believe it to be a very valuable contribution to the material on the Continental Army.
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Old 31 May 16, 09:09
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
The book is much in need of an editor.

As the book was self-published, that is probably the problem.
Not necessarily so. Many "edited" books are just as bad. The history of the 7th Michigan (Civil War) is atrocious. "Winter War" (I think it is named, on the Carpathian battles of 1915) was "edited" by a very good University Press, and is just so painstakingly awful that I have yet to get through it.

I think publishing houses are cutting back on their editorial staff.

I would rate the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment one of the better Continental Regiments.

Tuebor
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Old 31 May 16, 13:02
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The problem with self-publishing is that the manuscript is neither reviewed by a third party nor given over to an editor.

If that had been done in this case, the volume would have been organized better and make it easier to use.
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Old 31 May 16, 13:43
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
The problem with self-publishing is that the manuscript is neither reviewed by a third party nor given over to an editor.

If that had been done in this case, the volume would have been organized better and make it easier to use.
I'll take your word for it in this case, but self published books can be edited by third parties (if the author can find one), but there are so many advantages, for the author, of self publishing it is clearly the wave of the future.

The problem with most publishing houses is that they prefer mass media books (bleh bleh bleh), and the royalties are a joke.

Tuebor
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Old 31 May 16, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
I'll take your word for it in this case, but self published books can be edited by third parties (if the author can find one), but there are so many advantages, for the author, of self publishing it is clearly the wave of the future.

The problem with most publishing houses is that they prefer mass media books (bleh bleh bleh), and the royalties are a joke.

Tuebor
I've had no trouble with the publishing houses that I've written for. All were British as a matter of fact and some paid in royalties and others a flat fee. Osprey, for example, pays a flat fee (I have not written for them).

If you write military history and are doing it for money, then you're a fool. That isn't the point of the exercise.

And I don't agree that self-publishing is the 'wave of the future.' If it is, and military history is going that route, then stand by for a tsunami of junk, poorly written and poorly edited.
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