Davison, Eddy W. 1955(?)-
Davison, Eddy W. 1955(?)-
Born c. 1955; children: two daughters. Education: Ottawa University, B.A., 1997; M.A.
Home—Phoenix, AZ. Office—Ottawa University, 10020 N. 25th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85021.
During early career, worked as a karate instructor, detention officer, and crisis interventionist with juvenile offenders; Federal Bureau of Prisons, Department of Justice, 1985-91, member of Special Operations and Response Team, until 1987, senior officer specialist, until 1991; Ottawa University, Phoenix, AZ, criminal justice instructor, beginning 1993, currently adjunct professor of history.
Sons of Confederate Veterans (Arizona division), Scottsdale Civil War Roundtable (board of directors).
(With Daniel Foxx) Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma, foreword by Edwin C. Bearss, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2007.
Currently a historian, Eddy W. Davison began his career in criminal justice, including working in the Federal Witness Protection Program for the Department of Justice and as a S.W.A.T. team member. He was forced to quit hazardous duty in 1987 after he was injured during a rappelling maneuver. Going back to university, he earned a master's degree in history and joined the Ottawa University faculty. He has specialized in American history, and his first book, written with Daniel Foxx, concerns the U.S. Civil War. Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma is about one of the Confederacy's most brilliant generals. Forrest, however, was also a controversial figure, as well as a complex man to analyze. On the one hand, his tactics in battle often won victories when his men were grossly outnumbered; on the other, he was accused of sometimes killing captured soldiers and civilians for no good reason. A member of the Ku Klux Klan after the war, he also declared in a public speech that African Americans should be allowed to obtain an education.
Reviewers of the biography sometimes felt that Davison and Foxx leave their subject as enigmatic at the end of the book as he was at the beginning, while other critics praised the book as a valuable contribution to Civil War studies. Booklist contributor Roland Green, for instance, accused the authors of "whitewashing" some of the negative aspects of Forrest's life. John S. Benson, writing in Civil War News, made a similar comment about the lack of in-depth analysis: "For example, [the authors] … inform us that Forrest often found himself in trouble for giving out the spoils of war. However, they never take the time to tell us exactly why this got Forrest into trouble or even if the complaints were justified. In another example the authors tell us that Forrest at one time declined promotion, recommending Gideon Pillow instead," without going into further explanations. Civil War Book Review contributor James A. Ramage reported: "The authors present little new information, but they succeed in providing a valuable synthesis. Their narrative of Forrest's raids is detailed, clearly written, lively, and entertaining." A Curled Up with a Good Book Web site critic described the work as a "readable and intriguing biography," and an Internet Bookwatch contributor declared it "a work of meticulous and detailed scholarship."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2007, Roland Green, review of Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma, p. 17.
Internet Bookwatch, August, 2007, review of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Civil War Book Review Online,http://www.cwbr.com/ (January 7, 2008), James A. Ramage, review of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Civil War News,http://www.civilwarnews.com/ (October 1, 2007), John S. Benson, review of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (March 1, 2007), review of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Midwest Book Review Online,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (August 1, 2007), review of Nathan Bedford Forrest.