From Custer's Last Stand to the shooting of Bonnie and Clyde, The Accidental Historian chronicles one man's fascination with the past and the different ways he has immersed himself in American history over fifty years. Akers explores incidents, little-known episodes, and fascinating sidelights from some of the most popular events of years gone by. Come along with Akers as he reveals a shocking secret about Robert E. Lee. Calls up Clyde Barrow's henchman on the phone. Hires on as an extra in a Civil War miniseries. Runs for public office. Rediscovers a lost treasure from Stonewall Jackson. Reads between the lines of wartime love letters. Recreates the Rebel Yell. Fights at the Alamo-with his wife on the opposing side. Through artifact and antique collecting, writing, relic-hunting, visiting historic sites, and good old-fashioned primary source research, Akers has experienced and relived a great deal of the country's historical panorama. He relates his observations with humor, scholarship, self-effacement, and zeal, enjoyably bridging the gap between academic and popular history. His anecdotes will entertain and edify not only historians amateur or professional but also reenactors, enthusiasts, collectors, songwriters, genealogists, tourists, and teachers-anyone, in fact, curious enough about America's past to stop and read a historical marker.
Monte Akers, a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Houston, practices law in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Tales for the Telling: Six Short Stories of the American Civil War and Flames after Midnight: Murder, Vengeance, and the Desolation of a Texas Community.