Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation

Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation

by Caroline E. Janney
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

As early as 1865, survivors of the Civil War were acutely aware that people were purposefully shaping what would be remembered about the war and what would be omitted from the historical record. In Remembering the Civil War, Caroline E. Janney examines how the war generation--men and women, black and white, Unionists and Confederates--crafted and protected

Overview

As early as 1865, survivors of the Civil War were acutely aware that people were purposefully shaping what would be remembered about the war and what would be omitted from the historical record. In Remembering the Civil War, Caroline E. Janney examines how the war generation--men and women, black and white, Unionists and Confederates--crafted and protected their memories of the nation's greatest conflict. Janney maintains that the participants never fully embraced the reconciliation so famously represented in handshakes across stone walls. Instead, both Union and Confederate veterans, and most especially their respective women's organizations, clung tenaciously to their own causes well into the twentieth century.
Janney explores the subtle yet important differences between reunion and reconciliation and argues that the Unionist and Emancipationist memories of the war never completely gave way to the story Confederates told. She challenges the idea that white northerners and southerners salved their war wounds through shared ideas about race and shows that debates about slavery often proved to be among the most powerful obstacles to reconciliation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Whether traversing familiar or unfamiliar ground, Janney writes elegantly and with impressive command of her subject. Remembering the Civil War now takes its place as the best single work on the memory of the Civil War. --W. Fitzhugh Brundage, in the Journal of Southern History

Remembering the Civil War offers important insights and demonstrates without a doubt that memory studies are far from exhausted. Whether a readership beyond the academy that continues to embrace reconciliation--as evidenced by the ongoing Civil War 150th commemoration--has yet to be seen.--Virginia Magazine

Well-researched and compellingly written. . . . will appeal to a lay audience.--H-Net Reviews

A book that will be useful to scholars and casual readers for many years to come.--Civil War Book Review

Janney emphasizes, as do other scholars of remembrance, that the memory of Civil War and Reconstruction was not merely an exercise in nostalgia. Rather, these memories had major policy implications.--American Historical Review

Janney has significantly extended our understanding of memory and reconciliation (or lack thereof) and the anger and pain associated with forgiveness that resonated from the most cataclysmic event in U.S. history.--Journal of American History

Janney's Remembering the Civil War is an ambitious book that makes a bold argument, taking on the dominant themes in the growing historical field of Civil War memory.--Annals of Iowa

It deserves its place as a leading work in the historiography on war and memory.--North Carolina Historical Review

A landmark study. . . . Certain to be a standard-bearer in the field of Civil War memory for the foreseeable future.--Indiana Magazine of History

A beautifully written and superbly researched book.--Public Historian

[This] revisionist study argues that the Lost Cause mythology and rush to reconciliation was much less pervasive than previously thought.--Civil War Times

Splendidly written. . . . Recommended. All levels/libraries.--Choice

Remembering the Civil War is a remarkable achievement. The volume's chronological breadth, persuasive arguments, and diversity of perspective deliver an engaging read and promise its historiographical longevity.--Georgia Historical Quarterly

The first comprehensive reassessment of Civil War memory.--West Virginia History

"Thought-provoking. Janney engages with the important question of just how prevalent the culture of reconciliation was when it came to understanding the meaning and legacy of the Civil War."—Nina Silber, Boston University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469607061
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
06/03/2013
Series:
Littlefield History of the Civil War Era Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
562,120
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
By making the crucial distinction between reunion and reconciliation, Janney offers a bold and persuasive reinterpretation of the Civil War's aftermath and its legacy. Reunion, the North's primary war aim and the fruits of its victory, came swiftly. But reconciliation--true sectional harmony and a spirit of mutual forgiveness--ran aground again and again on the shoals of pride, grief, and politics. Survivors of the war, soldiers and civilians, persisted in their principles, and in their bitter memories, and Janney skillfully maps their prolonged contest over the war's meaning.--Elizabeth R. Varon, University of Virginia

Thought-provoking. Janney engages with the important question of just how prevalent the culture of reconciliation was when it came to understanding the meaning and legacy of the Civil War.--Nina Silber, Boston University

Meet the Author

Caroline E. Janney is associate professor of history at Purdue University and author of Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >