Official Review: War's Cost by Dr. Eugene DeFriest Betit

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Rosemary Wright
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Official Review: War's Cost by Dr. Eugene DeFriest Betit

Post by Rosemary Wright » 08 Mar 2019, 06:13

[Following is an official review of "War's Cost" by Dr. Eugene DeFriest Betit.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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"War is hell. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation." I extracted that thought-provoking quote by General William Tecumseh Sherman from the book, War's Cost, which is written by Dr. Eugene DeFriest Betit. The narrative unveils the Hite family's involvement in the American Civil War and its consequences. It provides some information about the numerous Hites who fought in the Virginia's military unit.

Eugene begins the book by telling how Shenandoah Valley of Virginia was developed. He reveals how Major Isaac Hite Jr., a prosperous Shenandoah Valley farmer and businessman, constructed Belle Grove Plantation near Middletown between 1794 and 1797, which later became a site of one of the major battles of the Civil War. The author presents a brief historical account of the life of Major Isaac's grandfather, Jost Hite. In 1732, Jost was granted 100,000 acres in the valley on condition that he settled one hundred families.

Being a documentary, War's Cost is intriguing and engaging. It offers new insight into the genealogy of the Hite family, showing how the different members of the family were related to each other. It reveals their dates of birth, accomplishments, involvement in the war, how they died, and where they were buried. The book is coherent and enlightening. It's about 107 pages, but it provides a lot of information. However, it's somewhat a serious read, and it requires full concentration to actually grasp its contents. If you don't enjoy reading books loaded with genealogical details and dates, you may skip this one.

Furthermore, the book tells about education in Shenandoah Valley, how slavery existed in all the colonies, how the Hites participated in the war, the survivors, life after the war, and how four years of combat in the valley left most farms devastated. The narration ends on page 54. Afterwards, the author included endnotes and appendices for additional information. Again, some black and white photos as well as some figures were added to enable readers relate to the various stories about the Hites.

Finally, I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. It was professionally edited. The only error in the whole book is a part of Appendix C which is upside down. I couldn't rate it lower because it's interesting, and it contains unique information about the war. Historians or anyone interested in the American Civil War stories will love it.

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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Mar 2019, 11:24

I don't know much about the Shenandoah Valley, so this would be interested in that way. However, I'm not sure it would engage me enough, as I'm not really interested in history. Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks.
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Post by T_stone » 12 Mar 2019, 03:49

I'm glad you were able to enjoy the book. I'd love to read more about the Shenandoah valley of West Virginia. I've heard it in two movies and your review has piqued my interest furthermore. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Sinclairess » 13 Mar 2019, 13:19

I was interested in the cover and added it to my bookshelf. Thanks for letting us know that it takes concentration, because this is a book for a certain time.

I live in Virginia myself, so I think it'd be great to read when I want local history. It relieves me to know you said that it is professionally edited.

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Post by InStoree » 14 Mar 2019, 07:06

Giving the fact that this is a non-fictional book, I think the history of the wars is a drawer of life that we can load. History is a giant of human's evolution, and every event brings extra learning. This book will create a new file (called Shenandoah Valley of Virginia) in the box of my knowledge. Thank you for your compact review, Rosemary!
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Post by ShannonHBC » 18 Mar 2019, 16:27

Sounds like a very interesting book! Probably not the easiest one to read, but I hope I get to read this one at some point.

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Post by chiefsimplex » 21 Mar 2019, 05:25

In several attempts to quantify the cost of war ,not many have succinctly taken to account the nervous and emotional wreck that war leaves behind.I am impressed by this story,which is a personal account and i expect it comes close enough to reveal the real catastrophe of war at a personal level.Thanks for sharing.
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