Man of War: My Adventures in the World of Historical Reenactment
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Man of War: My Adventures in the World of Historical Reenactment

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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 Char...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 24th 2012 by Hudson Street Press (first published May 1st 2012)
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Jun 24, 2012 Alana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: val
Shelves: 2012, first-reads
absolutely phenomenal! schroeder combines fact, whit, and the 'realities of war' for a variety of periods. for example, i learned spainish pieces of eight were the first global currency. there were interesting tidbits mixed within his encounters with reenacters.
liberally sprinkied throughout were schroeder's whitty observations. my favorite was 'flatulus' the farting roman. (i nearly died of laughter while reading the "I, carolus" chapter!)
also, liked the fact that he shared when he got hurt...more
A very enjoyable overview of reenactment in the US. As a former reenactor I particularly appreciated a passing reference to crawling out of a tent on a chilly morning after trying to sleep on the cold hard ground. Hot coffee is never so welcome!

I would say that the only thing Mr. Schroeder missed was how much time reenactors spend talking to the public, hoping to educate them on the time periods only to be asked The Three Questions over and over and how the Questions get turned into "Yes, but --...more

I was a bit concerned while reading about his first experience during the WWII reenactment that it was going to be one of those "these guys are a bunch of redneck freaks" types of books, but for a Liberal guy immersed in a mostly Conservative past time he did a good job of staying pretty objective. He recounts several conversations he had with several of the reenactors about the "whys and whats" of their involvement and it was really interesting. He even d...more
Interesting account this author had with various reenactment groups. I found some experiences more fun and fascinating than others, but the dry wit came through with all the telling.

It seems that nowadays reenactors are few and far between so I'm hoping that this book may create more enthusiasm for this unique past time. It would be a shame for the public to miss out on a 'I was there' experience that these players put their hearts and souls into. And getting a history lesson is an added bonus.

I received this book for free from goodreads giveaways.

This was an excellent book. It was funny, well written and informative. Charlie Schroeder took us on a journey into the life of the war reenactor. I have known some of these guys who reenact Civil War battles and I have always wondered what made them want to do that. Charlie answers that questions. He opens a whole new world to me. I am really impressed with how the book looked at this community of people who by their own admittance are some...more

As a history buff, I admit to loving historical reenactments (Ren Faires, battles, ceremonies, etc.). Charlie Schroeder, an actor and author, puts himself on the front lines (pun intended) in order to better understand the world of reenactors in “Man of War: My Adventures in the World of Historical Reenactment”.

Although coined as a memoir, “Man of War” is more of an investigative/expose due to Schroeder not already being active in the reenactment community (in fact, he doesn’t previously have m...more
Heather Bridson
I truly love this story! I used to be part of a medieval recreation group since High school, so hearing of someone trying out a group and learning history this way is wonderful. There is something special about stepping into the lives of people who have past before us. I am one of those crazy people who go to restaurants dressed as Vikings with others, it is so much fun watching people's faces when they see us, and the off chance someone will let us teach them some history along the way.
Liss Capello
Cute. Another iteration of the classic 'writer/journalist/average Joe throws himself into some unlikely project for a year, learns things, expands horizons, returns to normal life a broader, richer person' trope. In this case, the project Charlie Schroeder throws himself into is historical reenacting, and he runs the gambit, trying everything from ancient Rome to the Vietnam War, and even going so far as to make up his own reenactment event to honor the history of his hometown of Los Angeles. Ty...more
This was a fun lighter read about a writer who decides to explore the world of historical reenactors, which leads to various strange adventures reenacting everything from Roman times to the Vietnam War. Schroeder is most likable when describing his journey from being someone who didn't care much about history to being a true history buff. One of my favorite passages:

"The more history I absorbed, the more I felt like a detective. Everywhere I looked, I examined things not for the way they are, bu...more
The story of one man's year long journey through a number of historical reenactments. It was an interesting read to see some of the reenactments in a close up view. The author was able to convey what ti is like to participate in some of these events. Some of them are a bit scary in regards to what they are portraying (German Army on the Eastern Front in WWII) or some of the things that the participants will do (Vietnam).
"Have fun at the crucifixion!" Yeah, you just don't hear that very much anymore.

Charlie Schroeder enters the world of Historical Reenactment and runs the gamut of Roman Empire to Viet Nam. While Schroeader's book takes a look at the breadth of reenactments, Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic looks in depth at just the Civil War. I enjoyed reading both of them, but if I had to pick one to recommend, I'd go with Confederates in the Attic.

This is a good combination of entertainment and educat...more
Discovered this book by watching BookTV and seeing a segment with Charlie talking about this book and his experiences while writing this book. For a preview of the book you can watch the program via streaming video at:

I found this a very entertaining book that gave me an insight into those people who like to dress up like the people of old and spend their weekends trying to relive the past.

He takes us along as he experiences several different eras with th...more
Katie Hurst
This book was a pleasant surprise. From the summary I knew the author was going to take a humorous tone, but was concerned about whether it was going to focus on the oddballs of the reenacting world. I was happy to discover he was able to be respectful and tease a bit at the same time. Everyone knows about civil war reenacting which the author covers, but I really enjoyed the more tales of the more obscure reenacting groups like the vikings and scottish calvarymen. This is a great introduction f...more
Man Of War is written by Charlie Schroeder who played Mr. Pussy on Sex and The City. The book is him narrating his way through historical reenactment. One day, he thought about how much he did not know about history, so he decided to find and join all of the historical reenactment groups that would tale him. He does everything from civil war times, all the way back to Roman times. I loved the book, it was very funny. And I never thought I would learn so much from Mr. Pussy.

* I won this book for...more
Joan Burgess
I laughed from the title page until the end. Best book I've read in a long, long time. As an occasional reenactor (1750 give or take a decade) I understand the alure of escaping modern day. I've only experienced that "period rush" once but it's worth pursuing over and over again. You meet the most fascinating and entertaining people when you leave the 21st century. Even if you think you hate history read it. You won't be able to put the book down.
The author spent 15 months traveling to and participating in various reenactment groups through the US, partially inspired by "Confederates in the Attic."

I enjoyed the book, but started getting a little lost in the various narratives, as the scenes shifted from group to group. Worth reading, but I prefer "Confederates," maybe because it stuck to one time period.
Michelle Veo
OK - this was a fun book! It became a bit disturbing in the Vietnam reenactment segment, but all in all just a lark. I love reading about sub-cultures and this certainly qualifies. People spend loads and lots of money being "authentic". Charles Schroeder is a great story teller and kept me amused and interested throughout.
Don Cygan
Great insight into an interesting subculture (subcultures?) in America. Charlie is able to add humor as well as genuine respect for those of us in the historical reenactment community, and remind us that as much as we tend to "geek out" on our little hobby, in the end, you can't take it all too seriously.
A man decides to join reenactment groups from the Romans to the Vietnam. Pretty entertaining read, although he lost me on the last chapter where he decided to do his own reenactment. The one-man show seemed a weak after reading about all the details and time poured into the group reenactments.
A lovely read, from the perspective of another (although temporary) re-enactor. It was enjoyable to hear about other impressions and time frames that I haven't had experience with--some of which I'd be interested in finding out more about (such as the Roman and Viking re-enacting)!
This story wad actually fun to read, as you got to know a little more about each of the wars/events he choose to reenact.
Schroeder travels through history by becoming a reenactor. Easy read, some interesting points. Not as biting or profound as Tony Horowitz's Confederates in the Attic. Yet, if your thinking about reenacting history, a good place to find out what it's all about.
A very detailed look at the world of reenactors. Charlie Schroeder didn't just interview the people who reenact part of history, he actually joins in, which gives the book an insider's look at what goes on when people get together and reenact history.
very entertaining; the subject was a fine approach to writing about a variety of topics; this book is good for reading aloud; got tired of seeing "stepped foot" and other expressions that should have been edited out; "fraile" was spelled "friale"
Leah Lucci
Pretty fun read. Not life-altering or particularly informative, but this man definitely suffered to create this, so kudos. (Much like The Lost City of Z, this mostly deterred me from pursuing the subject matter personally.)
A funny read for the reenactor or for one who wishes to get a glimpse in the world of historical reenactments. Would love a sequel, possibly some visits to europe? Many more groups and time periods to look into!
Apr 22, 2012 Sally marked it as to-read
Charlie Schroeder was one of the authors on our Vroman's bus - he was funny and this book sounds interesting. Besides, the book is signed and I got 10% off at the Vroman's booth - L.A. Times Festival of Books 2012
Nancy Molina
I could have finished it, but with so many books that I'm dying to read, this one just didn't capture my attention enough to keep at it. The writing was fine, and the topic was somewhat interesting.
I like this book very much, I read it in hard cover form. I not only learned about history
but a little about myself. I swear that I was a Roman soldier in a past life, with a few
Not as good as Confederates in the Attic, but very entertaining! Made me laugh out loud at some points. He gets a little political, but nothing annoying.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Q&A with Char...: My Influences 1 1 Jun 25, 2012 11:17PM  
Q&A with Char...: The writing process 1 1 Jun 25, 2012 11:15PM  
Q&A with Char...: Welcome 1 2 Jun 25, 2012 11:13PM  
Q&A with Char...: What exactly does one learn from reenacting? 1 1 Jun 25, 2012 11:12PM  
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I share the same birthday as Harvey Korman, Matt Groening and the adult film star Arnold Schwartzenpecker. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about me, well, then read on.

I've written for the NY Times, LA Times, New York Observer, Los Angeles Magazine and Readers Digest. A story I once wrote about people who fish golf course water hazards was selected for inclusion in the Best American...more
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