Thursday, October 19, 2017

Booknotes: Civil War Memories

New Arrival:
Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865
by Robert J. Cook (Johns Hopkins UP, 2017).

Robert Cook's Civil War Memories "is the first comprehensive account of how and why Americans have selectively remembered, and forgotten, this watershed conflict since its conclusion in 1865.

In four chapters charting the emergence of "four dominant narratives," Part One of the book "explains why the Yankee victors’ memory of the "War of the Rebellion" drove political conflict into the 1890s, then waned with the passing of the soldiers who had saved the republic. It also touches on the leading role southern white women played in the development of the racially segregated South’s "Lost Cause"; explores why, by the beginning of the twentieth century, the majority of Americans had embraced a powerful reconciliatory memory of the Civil War; and details the failed efforts to connect an emancipationist reading of the conflict to the fading cause of civil rights."

Part Two covers the modern era, among other things drawing connections between Civil War memory and the cinema, the Centennial and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and the current heated debate over Confederate symbols and monuments. The book is written "for a wide audience and designed to inform popular debate on the relevance of the Civil War to the racial politics of modern America(.)"

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you wish to comment, please sign your name. Otherwise, your submission may be rejected, at the moderator's discretion. Comments containing outside promotions and/or links will be deleted.