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American Rambler with Colin Woodward


Dec 6, 2019

Virginia native Ben Cleary is the author of Searching for Stonewall Jackson, a non-traditional military history of one of the Civil War's most famous generals. As Ben tells Colin, his interest in "Old Jack" stems from how different the general seems to modern students of the war.

Ben's book builds on a career spent writing and teaching. He began his work on Jackson after writing articles for the New York Times "Disunion" feature during the Civil War sesquicentennial. He is also a veteran of the Richmond writing scene and has taught at public schools in the area and in the juvenile justice system.

Ben and Colin discuss Jackson's campaigns as well as the general's thoughts on slavery, religion, and family life. Ben talks, too, about his early writing career in the "Scarytown" era of Richmond and how he learned Russian literature from a chain-smoking countess at VCU.