The Boundaries of American Political Culture in the Civil War Era

The Boundaries of American Political Culture in the Civil War Era

by Mark E. Neely

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Overview

The Boundaries of American Political Culture in the Civil War Era by Mark E. Neely

Did preoccupations with family and work crowd out interest in politics in the nineteenth century, as some have argued? Arguing that social historians have gone too far in concluding that Americans were not deeply engaged in public life and that political historians have gone too far in asserting that politics informed all of Americans' lives, Mark Neely seeks to gauge the importance of politics for ordinary people in the Civil War era.

Looking beyond the usual markers of political activity, Neely sifts through the political bric-a-brac of the era—lithographs and engravings of political heroes, campaign buttons, songsters filled with political lyrics, photo albums, newspapers, and political cartoons. In each of four chapters, he examines a different sphere—the home, the workplace, the gentlemen's Union League Club, and the minstrel stage—where political engagement was expressed in material culture. Neely acknowledges that there were boundaries to political life, however. But as his investigation shows, political expression permeated the public and private realms of Civil War America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469625546
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Series: The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Mark E. Neely Jr. is McCabe-Greer Professor of the History of the Civil War Era and senior historian in residence at the Pennsylvania State University. He is author or coauthor of eleven previous books, including The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North and The Union Image: Popular Prints of the Civil War North.

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