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Chadwick, Bruce (Bruce V. Chadwick)

Chadwick, Bruce (Bruce V. Chadwick)

PERSONAL:

Married. Education: Rutgers University, Ph.D., 1998.

ADDRESSES:

Home—NJ. Office—Department of American Studies, Rutgers University, 50 Bishop St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

CAREER:

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, lecturer on history and film; New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ, writing instructor. Former writing instructor at New York University, New York, NY; New York Daily News, New York, NY, editor; Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, associate resident fellow.

WRITINGS:

SPORTS

(With Danny Peary) How to Buy, Trade & Invest in Baseball Cards & Collectibles: Smart Strategies for Starting, Building & Enjoying Your Collection, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1989.

When the Game Was Black and White: The Illustrated History of the Negro Leagues, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1992.

The Boston Red Sox: Memories and Mementoes of New England's Team, photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1992.

The Bronx Bombers: Memories and Mementoes of the Yankees, photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1992.

The Giants: Memories and Memorabilia from a Century of Baseball, photography by David Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1993.

The Dodgers: Memories and Memorabilia from Brooklyn to L.A., photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Burt Reynolds) Seminole Seasons, Taylor (Dallas, TX), 1994.

The Cincinnati Reds: Memories and Memorabilia of the Big Red Machine, photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1994.

The Chicago Cubs Trivia Book: Facts, Lists, Brain-Teasers, Stats, and Stories from Over 100 Years of Cub History, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

The Chicago Cubs: Memories and Memorabilia of the Wrigley Wonders, photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Baseball's Hometown Teams: The Story of the Minor Leagues, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Baltimore Orioles: Memories and Memorabilia of the Lords of Baltimore, photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1995.

The St. Louis Cardinals: Memories and Memorabilia from a Century of Baseball, photography by David M. Spindel, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1995.

SPORTS BIOGRAPHY

Joe Namath, introduction by Chuck Noll, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1995.

Deion Sanders, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1996.

John Madden, introduction by Chuck Noll, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1997.

HISTORY

(Editor) Brother against Brother: The Lost Civil War Diary of Lt. Edmund Halsey, Carol Publishing Group (Secaucus, NJ), 1997.

The Two American Presidents: A Dual Biography of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Carol Publishing Group (Secaucus, NJ), 1998.

Traveling the Underground Railroad: A Visitor's Guide to More Than 300 Sites, Carol Publishing Group (Secaucus, NJ), 1999.

The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film, Knopf (New York, NY), 2001.

George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency, Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2004.

The First American Army: The Remarkable Story of George Washington and the Men behind America's Fight for Freedom, Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2005.

The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage and a Revolution, Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2006.

1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and the War They Failed to See, Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2008.

OTHER

Infamous Trials (juvenile nonfiction), edited by Austin Sarat, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1997.

Also author of a novel. Contributor to periodicals, including Sports Illustrated. Columnist, New York Daily News.

SIDELIGHTS:

Journalist and college instructor Bruce Chadwick has published a number of popular books on sports-related topics as well as scholarly works on American history. An example of the latter is the diary and correspondence of a Union army soldier Chadwick edited titled Brother against Brother: The Lost Civil War Diary of Lt. Edmund Halsey. Chadwick provided background information on the family, as well as historical annotations, for the book. Halsey, who hailed from a prominent family in Rockaway, New Jersey, joined the Union army in 1862 and became an officer in the 15th New Jersey. Halsey's older brother, Joseph, a proslavery landowner in Virginia, was equally committed to the Confederate cause. The brothers overcame their differences not long after the end of the war. Though a reviewer in Kirkus Reviews found Chadwick's "annotations … too often misplaced" and Halsey's writing "listless and general," a Publishers Weekly critic noted that Halsey is "most eloquent in describing war's commonplace miseries," such as lice, illness, and homesickness. This reviewer concluded that Chadwick's book "will be welcomed by readers interested in the Civil War's human dimension."

In The Two American Presidents: A Dual Biography of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Chadwick examines the personalities and private lives of the two leaders in order to explain the outcome of the Civil War. Historian contributor James I. Robertson, Jr., wrote that in this book, "Chadwick has done a solid job of portraying the two antagonists in the nation's darkest hour." Using memoirs, correspondence, speeches, and congressional reports for his research, Chadwick pieces together the personalities of the Union and Confederate leaders, drawing the conclusion that the war was won by the North because Lincoln possessed better personal skills, which ultimately made him a more effective leader. Civil War History writer Michael Naragon felt that Chadwick should have drawn more ideas from current scholarship, but added: "The use of biography to explain the Union victory is provocative and serves as a welcome corrective to those who stress structure at the expense of agency."

In Traveling the Underground Railroad: A Visitor's Guide to More Than 300 Sites, Chadwick offers the history of the network that helped runaway slaves escape to free states in the North. For each site listed in the book, Chadwick provides a brief history and, if the site is open to the public, contact information for tourists who wish to visit. Although Library Journal reviewer Julia Stump regarded the book to be unsuccessful as a guidebook because there are "no maps or directions," she concluded that it is nonetheless "interesting as history."

Chadwick discusses how Hollywood has portrayed the Civil War in The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film, a book based on his Ph.D. dissertation. Here he examines the myths films have propagated about Southerners, slaves, and Northerners, particularly in Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind. In the New York Times, James M. McPherson observed that "Chadwick's dissection of the myths [these two films] helped to foster is superb. His chapters on the early silent films and on movies about Abraham Lincoln are also outstanding." Although McPherson did not agree with the author's premise that there is a "subtle pro-Southern bias" to movies about Abraham Lincoln, the critic concluded that overall, Chadwick's book is an "enlightening volume."

Chadwick moved away from Civil War-related historical topics with George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency. In this text, he looks at Washington's evolution as a military leader, his importance to the triumph of the American colonies in the Revolutionary War, the challenges he faced, and his postwar activities, primarily in the political realm. Chadwick argues that it was Washington's burgeoning organizational and motivational skills that kept his army together, among other feats, and led to the ultimate victory. Calling aspects of the book "highly readable," Jay Freeman attested in Booklist that the author "is at his best … in tracking Washington's development as a military and political leader."

With The First American Army: The Remarkable Story of George Washington and the Men behind America's Fight for Freedom, Chadwick continues his interest in the Revolutionary War period of America's history. The volume looks at the lives of the ordinary men who served under Washington and other major generals of the period, addressing the danger of their duties and other war-related occurrences, including an epidemic of smallpox that broke out among survivors of one campaign. Chadwick also emphasizes the youth of the soldiers, many of whom were only in their teens. Much of his research includes information gleaned from old journals and letters of the period. J. Kent McGaughy, writing for the Journal of Southern History, opined: "Unfortunately, Chadwick does not provide much information concerning the publishing histories of the journals he used as sources." He continued: "A slight omission such as this, however, does not diminish the contribution that The First American Army makes to our understanding the soldiers' lives during the Revolution." In a review for Booklist, Gilbert Taylor remarked that "Chadwick makes palpable the day-to-day hardships and intermittent distractions of army life."

The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage and a Revolution offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the life and marriage of Washington, with a particular focus on the Revolution and the birth of the nation. Although Martha Washington burned a lifetime's worth of letters to and from her husband shortly before her death, there is still much information available regarding the couple, and Chadwick makes the most of it. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found the work "lacking in provocative insights." However, a contributor for Kirkus Reviews remarked: "Chadwick's brisk narrative comes as close as we are likely to get to an understanding of the Washington union."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2004, Jay Freeman, review of George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency, p. 1418; November 1, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of The First American Army: The Remarkable Story of George Washington and the Men behind America's Fight for Freedom, p. 15.

Civil War History, March, 2000, Michael Naragon, review of The Two American Presidents: A Dual Biography of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, p. 63.

Historian, summer, 2000, James I. Robertson, Jr., review of The Two American Presidents, p. 864.

Journal of Southern History, February, 2007, J. Kent McGaughy, review of The First American Army, p. 155.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1997, review of Brother against Brother: The Lost Civil War Diary of Lt. Edmund Halsey, p. 520; June 15, 2006, review of The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage and a Revolution, p. 611.

Library Journal, September 1, 1999, Julia Stump, review of Traveling the Underground Railroad: A Visitor's Guide to More Than 300 Sites, p. 221.

New York Times, September 30, 2001, James M. McPherson, "Klieg Lights and Magnolias: Civil War Movies May Be Ubiquitous, but They're Not Very Accurate," p. 19.

Publishers Weekly, April 21, 1997, review of Brother against Brother, p. 56; May 22, 2006, review of The General and Mrs. Washington, p. 39.

ONLINE

Rutgers FOCUS,http://news.rutgers.edu/focus/ (November 2, 2001), Douglas Frank, "Southern Comfort: Hollywood Remakes the War between the States," review of The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film.

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