Kathryn Morse’s review in Environment and History, August 2014:

“Americans don’t like ruins; they rebuild, memorialize, and forget. Megan Kate Nelson’s cultural and environmental history of the ruins left by the Civil War argues persuasively that physical ruins – of cities, homes, forests and soldiers’ bodies – mattered deeply during and just after the Civil War, but that the disappearance of those ruins and bodies over time reveals much of the penchant within American culture to erase the most jarring physical evidence of violence from the nation’s public and visual landscape, and in some cases, from history itself. This creative, thoughtful, detailed work combines the history of a powerful idea – ruination – with stories of real physical places and compelling individual lives transformed by war.”