Lessons of War: The Civil War in Children's Magazines / Edition 1

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While information regarding children and their outlook on the war is not abun-dant, James Marten, through extensive research, has uncovered essays, editorials, articles, poems, games, short stories and letters that tell the story of the Civil War through the eyes of children. Lessons of War: The Civil War in Children's Magazines is a collection of such items, gathered from popular children's magazines that were published during this era. The selections in Lessons of War demonstrate the depth of children's involve-ment in the war, from raising funds for soldiers to incorporating the war into their play activities and eagerly accepting northern political attitudes. The era's leading children's magazines, such as The Little Pilgrim, The Little Corporal, and Student and Schoolmate, used first-person accounts to let the children of the Civil War tell their own stories. Marten's commentary illuminates the vision of the Union war effort presented to children as the nation waged war against itself. Sure to enlighten both scholars and students, Lessons of War is a valuable addition to courses on the Civil War and American social and cultural history.

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Editorial Reviews

College & Research Libraries News
James Marten points out the recurring themes of bravery, patriotism, orphans, the home front, and sacrifice found in these magazines that helped explain the Civil War to a generation of children.
N. Ray Hiner
This well-organized collection of letters, essays, stories, poems, and reports from children's magazines adds greatly to our understanding of how American children experienced the Civil War.
Catherine Clinton
James Marten's Lessons of War teaches us that many significant topics of Civil War Studies remain relatively unexplored. His heroic rescue of these lost resources—the voices of children from wartime magazines—combined with his vivid and authoritative analysis opens up a wonderful new window on this promising and important area ripe for scholarly research. Lessons of War is an essential tool to begin this exciting new work on the social history of the Civil War.
Civil War Book Review
Lessons of War is a must read for anyone with even the slightest inclination to understand and appreciate our history... James Marten has honored us with unique research that brings, to one volume, the special, necessary attention given to children by writers and publishers during the years of the war.
College and Research Libraries News
James Marten points out the recurring themes of bravery, patriotism, orphans, the home front, and sacrifice found in these magazines that helped explain the Civil War to a generation of children.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For farm children near the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pa., and Spotsylvania, Va., the Civil War was an exercise in personal terror. For affluent New Yorkers such as seven-year-old Theodore Roosevelt, it was more abstract: a distant, glamorous altercation between dashing Confederate uncles and the Union armies backed by the majority of Manhattan Roosevelts, most of whom managed to avoid service. Less-wealthy children of the same city found the war a mysterious, heartless vacuum into which their fathers too often vanished. And for a black adolescent in Alabama, the years 1861-65 were nothing but a long wait for deliverance--a wait made more tedious and painful by the deprivations of the Confederacy's war-ravaged economy. Drawing on diaries, memoirs and school records, Marquette University history professor Marten (Texas Divided: Loyalty and Dissent in the Lone Star State, 1856-1874) gives us these stories and more as he explores the various ways children (black and white, rich and poor, male and female, North and South) encountered and understood the war. Through his absorbing first-rate social history, Marten sheds much-needed light on a previously neglected aspect of Civil War history. In the process, he reveals the ways in which the war shaped an entire generation of American youth, for good and for ill. (Sept.) FYI: Marten also edited Lessons of War: The Civil War in Children's Magazines due in November from SR Books (104 Greenhill Ave., Wilmington, Del. 19805-1897), paper $18.95 150p ISBN 0-8420-2656-8).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842026567
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 259
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Marten is associate professor of history at Marquette University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: "The Great Importance of Little Things" Chapter 2 Chats with Readers "Round the Evening Lamp": Creating a Literary Community Chapter 3 Patriotism and Perseverance: Oliver Optic's Civil War Chapter 4 Playgrounds into Paradegrounds: Civil War Children at Play Chapter 5 The Roll Call of the Brave: Loss and Sacrifice Chapter 6 "Som Day I Shall Be with You Again": Children and Soldiers Chapter 7 Home Guards: Virtue and the War Effort Chapter 8 Times of Wretchedness and Brighter Days: Magazines for Southern Children Chapter 9 "Joy for the Conquering Right": Mourning and Celebrating the End of the War Chapter 10 Epilogue: "This Cruel War"

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