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In an era that produced Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest emerged as a legend in his own right—a notorious character of mythic proportions even in his day. In the twenty-first century, his legacy continues to polarize the South: as a symbol of the Lost Cause and hero to working-class Southerners on one hand, and emblem of slavery and lingering racial tensions on the other.
In this brisk and lively new book, Paul Ashdown and Edward Caudill explore the creation of this relentless Forrest myth. Scrutinizing literature, art, cinema and popular culture over the past 150 years, the authors contend that the legend is a creation of the nation's literature, its obsession with the Civil War, and its press.
Enthralling and informative, this book will captivate readers with the enigma that was Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Introduction Part I: Dreams of Glory Chapter 1: A Future Foretold Chapter 2: A River of Blood Chapter 3: The Country of the Damned Part II: Mythmakers Chapter 4: Forrest and the Press Chapter 5: Monkeys and Manifestoes Chapter 6: Hydra and Heracles Part III: No Peace in Tennessee Chapter 7: Only the Dead Can Ride Bibliography