Man of War by Charlie Schroeder


9 Critic Reviews

Mr. Schroeder has a fine narrative sense. His misadventures at Stalingrad—is worth the price of the book
-WSJ online


Confederates in the Attic meets The Year of Living Biblically in a funny and original memoir

In Arkansas, there is a full-scale Roman fort with catapults and ramparts. In Colorado, nearly a hundred men don Nazi uniforms to fight the battle of Stalingrad. On the St. Lawrence River, a group of dedicated history buffs row more slowly than they can walk—along with author Charlie Schroeder, who is sweating profusely and cursing the day he got a book deal.

Taking readers on a figurative trip through time and a literal journey across America, Man of War details an ordinary guy's attempt to relearn history by experiencing it. Embedding with his fellow countrymen, Charlie Schroeder jumps headlong into the idiosyncratic world of historical reenactment. From encounters with wildlife and frostbite to learning more than he ever expected about guns, ammo, and buttons, Schroeder takes readers to the front lines of bloodless battles in order to show exactly how much the past has to teach us all about our present (and explain why anyone would choose to wear wool in a heat wave).

About Charlie Schroeder

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CHARLIE SCHROEDER is a writer, public radio producer, and actor. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Reader's Digest, and Los Angeles Times as well as in Best American Sports Writing 2006. Radio stories he has produced have been featured on NPR, including Weekend America, Only a Game, On the Media, and Soundcheck. He lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit
Published May 24, 2012 by Plume. 281 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Man of War
All: 9 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 2


May 01 2012

An entertaining read. The companionable author’s gimlet eye rarely misses the absurd or touching incidents he encountered during his explorations.

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WSJ online

Reviewed by Barton Swaim on May 25 2012

Mr. Schroeder has a fine narrative sense. His misadventures at Stalingrad—is worth the price of the book

Read Full Review of Man of War | See more reviews from WSJ online

AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Vadim Rizov on Jun 25 2012

it’s hard not to wish he’d eliminated all cutesy interjections entirely and mused a little harder on the meaning of his travels, rather than hurriedly finding ways to celebrate the quirky best in his generous hosts.

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The Washington Post

Reviewed by Timothy Smith on Jul 06 2012

Schroeder has a laid-back style that feels more like chatting with a friend over a camp fire than getting a historical lesson. He also has a sense of humor

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Dallas News

Reviewed by MICHAEL YOUNG on Jun 29 2012

Schroeder has a sharp eye for detail and a sharp sense of humor. The smiles and outright laughs come frequently in Man of War.

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National Review Online

Reviewed by Anthony Paletta on Sep 15 2012

Schroeder dives into the vastly different experiences that historical reenacting affords and emerges with a set of impressions about as varied as you would expect of the world’s nearest simulacra of time travel.

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Civil War News

Reviewed by Robert Grandchamp on Aug 23 2012

This is an interesting and very readable study of one man’s experience with reenactors. Written in a witty, fast-paced narrative format

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Charlotte's Web of Books

May 23 2012

Man of War is an interesting, fairly light-hearted look one of America's lesser known favorite pastimes. He keeps the book light and funny as he traipses through the countryside

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The Roving Historian

Below average
Jul 17 2012

Charlie doesn't "get it," therefore he decided to just mock it. He seems to have cherry picked the oddest and strangest among this group of history fanatics in his attempt to prove the myth that they are all a bunch of crackpots.

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