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Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front

Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front

by J. Matthew Gallman
Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front

Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front

by J. Matthew Gallman

eBook

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Overview

The Civil War thrust Americans onto unfamiliar terrain, as two competing societies mobilized for four years of bloody conflict. Concerned Northerners turned to the print media for guidance on how to be good citizens in a war that hit close to home but was fought hundreds of miles away. They read novels, short stories, poems, songs, editorials, and newspaper stories. They laughed at cartoons and satirical essays. Their spirits were stirred in response to recruiting broadsides and patriotic envelopes. This massive cultural outpouring offered a path for ordinary Americans casting around for direction.

Examining the breadth of Northern popular culture, J. Matthew Gallman offers a dramatic reconsideration of how the Union's civilians understood the meaning of duty and citizenship in wartime. Although a huge percentage of military-aged men served in the Union army, a larger group chose to stay home, even while they supported the war. This pathbreaking study investigates how men and women, both white and black, understood their roles in the People's Conflict. Wartime culture created humorous and angry stereotypes ridiculing the nation's cowards, crooks, and fools, while wrestling with the challenges faced by ordinary Americans. Gallman shows how thousands of authors, artists, and readers together created a new set of rules for navigating life in a nation at war.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469621005
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 05/25/2015
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 336
File size: 17 MB
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About the Author

J. Matthew Gallman is professor of history at the University of Florida and the author of Receiving Erin's Children: Philadelphia, Liverpool and the Irish Famine Migration, 1845-1855.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

In an intriguing and wonderfully illustrated book, J. Matthew Gallman offers a crucial new take on print culture and citizenship in the North during the Civil War. By looking at print materials in popular media, from political cartoons to short stories, Gallman gives readers surprising insights into the hearts and minds of Northerners by looking at what they wrote and read during this tumultuous era in American history.—Lyde Cullen Sizer, author of The Political Work of Northern Women Writers and the Civil War, 1850–1872

Lyde Cullen Sizer

In an intriguing and wonderfully illustrated book, J. Matthew Gallman offers a crucial new take on print culture and citizenship in the North during the Civil War. By looking at print materials in popular media, from political cartoons to short stories, Gallman gives readers surprising insights into the hearts and minds of Northerners by looking at what they wrote and read during this tumultuous era in American history.

Customer Reviews