The Michigan Historical Review Fall 2012 edition is out, with interesting articles (as per usual), and it includes a review of the book (at p. 129). To be reviewed signifies that the book is worth analysis by one with credentials, and in this case it is John Daley of Pittsburg State University, Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences. The excellent review (i.e., the review is excellently done) points out strengths and weaknesses in the book as it should.
Among the weaknesses: "readers in search of reevaluations of Michigan's more prominent dramatis personae ... will be disappointed"; "Dempsey fails to demolish Hasseltine's argument"; one significant Michigan cavalryman gets short shrift; it could have used better editing; and so forth.
What matters most of all to this author is that Dr. Daley finds the book goes a long way to achieve its purpose, of "celebrating the selflessness of Civil War-era Michiganders" in a manner where "the nonspecialist reading public will benefit." Readers will "surely profit from the added attention given ... less famous but also important" figures who "appear in justifiably bold relief". "Dempsey is quite right in noting that some heroes have not received their due." And in case one thinks the book is purely special pleading for the Michigan story, Dr. Daley -- miles and miles from here out in Kansas -- disagrees: "Nor is the mention of Michigan's dreadful casualty rate mere filiopietism." [excessive veneration of ancestors or tradition] The last line of the review, asserting that "no recent state or regional crisis comes close to the Old Northwest's four years of suffering a half century ago", validates the thesis of the work.
It is indeed a privilege to be critically evaluated in the Review and to have the benefit of a fine scholar's assessment. Despite its faults, Michigan and the Civil War is seen to be meritorious for the story it tells -- and that is the real point.