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Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front - Civil War America (Hardback)
  • Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front - Civil War America (Hardback)
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Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front - Civil War America (Hardback)

(author)
£47.95
Hardback 352 Pages / Published: 30/05/2015
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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.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469620992
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Lucid, informative, and admirably researched, and . . . offers an invaluable glimpse into the teeming world of ideas in print.--Journal of Southern History


I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the American Civil War. I say that because this book handles some of the issues of the home front unlike any book I have read before. . . . His research is phenomenal, his writing is engaging, and the reader is never left confused." --Matthew Bartlett, Gettysburg Chronicle


Highly original and important work. . . . Highlights important continuities between the antebellum and wartime North.--Reviews in American History


Recommended.--Choice


A remarkable, complex, and confident exposition of a world at war, in which individuals found themselves caught between the complacencies of antebellum class, gender, and racial certainties and the challenges of a changed future, a world whose cultural echoes persisted well past 1865.--American Historical Review


J. Matthew Gallman has produced a fascinating study that expands our knowledge of the impact of media on the choices citizens made during those perilous years of Civil War.--On Point: The Journal of Army History


Investigates how the folks back home . . . came to understand their proper social roles in the 'People's Conflict' through the print media. . . . Well-researched and well-presented.--Journal of American History


Both an enjoyable read and one that expands our understanding of the public discourses occurring on the Union home front.--Journal of Military History


A splendid book. Gallman is a shrewd historian.--Civil War Monitor


A lavishly illustrated, persuasively argued treatment of Northern popular culture during the Civil War.--The Annals of Iowa


Takes a wider view of wartime virtue, concentrating on Northern civilians with occasional glimpses at soldiers.--American Literature


A well-researched volume that lends insight into popular culture and changes in public attitudes during this especially critical time in US history.--The Michigan Historical Review

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