The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History

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Overview

Was the Confederacy doomed from the start in its struggle against the superior might of the Union? Did its forces fight heroically against all odds for the cause of states’ rights? In reality, these suggestions are an elaborate and intentional effort on the part of Southerners to rationalize the secession and the war itself. Unfortunately, skillful propagandists have been so successful in promoting this romanticized view that the Lost Cause has assumed a life of its own. Misrepresenting the war’s true origins and its actual course, the myth of the Lost Cause distorts our national memory. In The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History, nine historians describe and analyze the Lost Cause, identifying ways in which it falsifies history—creating a volume that makes a significant contribution to Civil War historiography.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Southern Historian
"The Lost Cause... is a tangible and influential phenomenon in American culture and this book provides an excellent source for anyone seeking to explore its various dimensions." —Southern Historian
Booklist
"Well reasoned and timely." —Booklist
From the Publisher
"Well reasoned and timely." — Booklist
Library Journal
Just about every Southern town has a Daughters or Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter that embraces the Myth of the Lost Cause with a fervor that would make their 19th-century ancestors proud. According to the neo-Confederate vision of the past, slavery had nothing to do with the Southern Declaration of Independence: the Confederate cause was a righteous struggle for liberty, and Southerners were defending their homeland from invading hordes of nefarious Yankees. The magnificent Confederate warriors were defeated only because they ran out of troops and supplies. These contemporary apostles of the Lost Cause will not like this collection of iconoclastic essays edited by Gallagher (Lee and His Generals) and Nolan (Lee Considered). Each documented essay provides insight into the origin and development of the basic tenets of the Lost Cause ideology, bringing Confederate icons down to earth. Recommended for all public and academic libraries where the persistent issues of the American Civil War still prevail.--Jim Doyle, Sara Hightower Regional Lib., Rome, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253222664
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 724,907
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has written or edited a number of books in the field of Civil War–era history, including, most recently, The Confederate War, Lee and His Generals in War and Memory; and Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War.

Alan T. Nolan (1923–2008) is author of Lee Considered: Robert E. Lee and Civil War History and The Iron Brigade: A Military History (IUP, 1994), and editor (with Sharon Eggleston Vipond) of Giants in Their Tall Black Hats: Essays on the Iron Brigade (IUP, 1998).

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Gary W. Gallagher
The Anatomy of the Myth, Alan T. Nolan
Jubal A. Early, The Los Cause and Civil War History, A Persistent Legacy, Gary W. Gallagher
Is Our Love for Wade Hampton Foolishness?: South Carolina and the Lost Cause, Charles J. Holden
These Few Gary-haired, Battle-Scarred Veterans: Confederate Army Reunions in Georgia (1885-1895), Keith S. Bohannon
New South Visionaries: Virginia's Last Generation of Slaveholders: The Gospel of Progress and the Lost Cause, Peter J. Carmichael
James Longstreet and the Lost Cause, Jeffrey D. Wert
Continuous Hammering and Mere Attrition: Lost Cause Critics and the Military Reputation of Ulysses S. Grant, Brooks D. Simpson
Let the People See the Old Life as It Was: Lasalle Corbell Pickett and the Myth of the Lost Cause, Lesley J. Gordon
The Immortal Confederacy: Another Look at Lost Cause Religion, Lloyd A. Hunter

Indiana University Press

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