The Civil War in Popular Culture: Memory and Meaning [NOOK Book]

Overview

Dividing the nation for four years, the American Civil War resulted in 750,000 casualties and forever changed the country's destiny. The conflict continues to resonate in our collective memory, and U.S. economic, cultural, and social structures still suffer the aftershocks of the nation's largest and most devastating war. Nearly 150 years later, portrayals of the war in books, songs, cinema, and other cultural media continue to draw widespread attention and controversy.

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The Civil War in Popular Culture: Memory and Meaning

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Overview

Dividing the nation for four years, the American Civil War resulted in 750,000 casualties and forever changed the country's destiny. The conflict continues to resonate in our collective memory, and U.S. economic, cultural, and social structures still suffer the aftershocks of the nation's largest and most devastating war. Nearly 150 years later, portrayals of the war in books, songs, cinema, and other cultural media continue to draw widespread attention and controversy.

In The Civil War in Popular Culture: Memory and Meaning, editors Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr. and Randal Allred analyze American depictions of the war across a variety of mediums, from books and film, to monuments and battlefield reunions, to reenactments and board games. This collection examines how battle strategies, famous generals, and the nuances of Civil War politics translate into contemporary popular culture. This unique analysis assesses the intersection of the Civil War and popular culture by recognizing how memories and commemorations of the war have changed since it ended in 1865.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Civil War in Popular Culture is an eclectic approach covering a variety of subjects, including Civil War myth and memory, films, novels, battlefield preservation and monuments, souvenirs, race and gender politics, the internet, war gaming, military medicine, and battle field reenactment. A lively read based on fresh research." — Frank J. Wetta, author of The Louisiana Scalawags; Politics, Race, and Terrorism during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

"This wide-ranging collection speaks to the power of the Civil War as a long-term force in American popular culture. The contributors illuminate the phenomenon from a remarkable range of perspectives extending from veterans in the post-Appomattox era through re-enactors and Hollywood films of the early 21st century. Whether drawn especially to historical, literary, or cinematic themes, readers will find much to ponder and enjoy in these pages."—Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Union War and The Confederate War" —

"This superbly framed and crafted volume is one of very few books on the Civil War that successfully examines the possible reasons why and how we, as Americans, are so fixated with the subject. Kreiser and Allred explore several possibilities in their excellent introduction, while the contributors amplify and complicate the discourse in a series of well-argued and well-positioned essays. The underlying explanation of how and why popular culture has embraced the Civil War range from the direct impact of the war on its participants, combatant reunions and long term battlefield preservation, the memory of the war in the minds of subsequent generations, and a few of the many ways that the Civil War has been used to craft, invent, or re-imagine cultural memory and the popular imagination in fiction, film, reenactments, and even board games.—Joy SperlingPresident PCA/ACA, Professor of Art History, Denison University" —

"One hundred and fifty years later and Americans appear to be as deeply interested in the Civil War and its legacy as their parents and grandparents. Echoes of the war can be heard in Hollywood films, contemporary politics and more overtly in debates over the public display of the Confederate flag, the naming of parks after controversial generals, and during battle reenactments. This collection of essays brings together some of the leading experts and rising stars in the field of Civil War memory. While the essays reflect both continuity and change in how Americans have remembered the war, they also confirm that the war will remain front and center in this nation's collective memory for the near future. Scholars and Civil War enthusiasts alike will enjoy and profit from reading this book.—Kevin M. Levin, author of Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder, Instructor of History, Gann Academy" —

"The Civil War in Popular Culture: Memory and Meaning by Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr. & Randal Allred looks at depictions of the war across a variety of mediums, from books and film, to monuments and battlefield reunions, to reenactments and board games. —Those That Can't Write" — Those That Can't Write

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813143217
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 12/13/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 248
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr. is associate professor history at Stillman College. He is a coeditor of Popular Culture Values and the Arts: Essays on Elitism versus Democratization and The Detective as Historian: History and Art in Historical Crime Fiction.

Randal Allred is professor of English at Brigham Young University—Hawaii.

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    The Civil War In Popular Culture: Memory And Meaning Is Both Inc

    The Civil War In Popular Culture: Memory And Meaning Is Both Incisive and Accessible

    The eleven essays, introduction and afterward offered in The Civil War In Popular Culture: Memory And Meaning are each scholarly, informative and entertaining. The perspectives and focus of the fourteen authors' essays are both broad and unique. A casual bookstore browser may think that it is another book about reenactors for reenactors but that would certainly be a mistaken impression. The essays chosen and edited by Kreiser and Allred are compelling for the questions they address.

    What do we know of how Civil War veterans came to psychological terms with the aftereffects of killing? Where Confederate amputees viewed as whole men who could be married? What value did veterans and early visitors to Chickamauga battlefield park during 1890s place on relics they found there?

    If 80% of all Americans receive no historical training beyond high school, then what success can the Gettysburg National Military Park have in placing slavery into the battle and its legacy? Is the Civil Preservation Trust's rebranding itself as the Civil War Trust, its investment in Internet web pages and mobile phone applications eliminating actual visits to the battlefields that the foundation has preserved?

    What does the history of Civil War board games tell us about what the popular culture views as entertainment and hobby? Have Lincoln movies homogenized the president who confessed his own childhood was among the simple annals of the poor? Has Lincoln the lawyer become both a vampire slayer and a pragmatic emancipator in the popular mind?

    Does the film Glory offer an honest depiction of Civil War combat? There is indeed one essay on reenactors. How do today's Good Ol' Rebel reenactors understand racism, slavery and their Lost Cause?

    Clear, concise and cogent, the essays are both incisive for the scholar and accessible to the general reader. The bibliographic notes appear at the conclusion of each essay and encourage readers and graduate student to realize the dynamic nature of the field pursue new avenues of research in popular culture.

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