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The Civil War in History and Memory


by Freeman, Christopher Skye Issue: Winter 2006

It has been a difficult time for the Civil War Book Review and the rest of the Louisiana community the past several months. In the aftermath of Katrina, Frank Hardie, both my successor and predecessor as editor of the Review, was forced through difficult circumstances to leave Louisiana and had to give up his post at the helm of our publication. During this period of transition, I have resumed my role as editor of the Review. However, before he left, Frank was able to do most of the work on this issue. Thus, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation for all of his excellent work over the last year and my best wishes for him and his family.

This Issue is filled with books on a plethora of topics on the Civil War; however, several studies on memory, history, and commemoration truly stand out. Among our featured reviews is Defining Moments: African American Commemoration & Political Culture in the South, 1863-1913 (University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 0807856223, $19.95 paper) by Kathleen Ann Clark. This work, reviewed by Mitch Kachun, examines the political function of African American Commemorations in the south in the fifty years following the Civil War. Another work with a similar theme is Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865-1914 (University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 0807828963, $34.95 hardcover) by William Blair. Geraldo Lujan Cadava examines Blair's argument that rather than leading to reconciliation during the Reconstruction Period, commemorations were really objects of conflict. In addition to these reviews, Frank Hardie's interview of Edward Ayers on his book, What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History (W.W. Norton & Co., ISBN 0393059472, $24.95, hardcover), addresses issues such as the cause of the Civil War and how the Civil War has effected and continues to shape the South and especially Southern history today.

The Winter 2006 Issue is also filled with reviews and articles on a variety of other topics. For instance, James Hardy has delved into 6 Civil War Atlas and offers this in-depth examination on the art of cartography. In this Issues' Rediscovery Column, David Madden takes a look at how children have been portrayed and thought about in Civil War literature. In this column, Madden compares and examines Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ambrose Bierce's short story Chickamauga, William Faulkner's The Unvanquished, among others. Also, Elizabeth Ammons examines Uncle Tom Mania: Slavery, Minstrelsy, and Transatlantic Culture in the 1850's (University of Georgia Press, ISBN 0820327360, $54.95, hardcover) by Sarah Meer, which studies the effect that Harriet Stow's novel had upon the cultural landscape just prior to the Civil War.

Also, I would like to direct your attention to three other excellent pieces in this issue. Two of them are about law and politics of the Civil War Era. In reference to constitutional law, Michl Berheide reviews Justice Curtis in the Civil War Era: At the Crossroads of American Constitutionalism (University of Virginia Press, ISBN 0813923425, $37.50, hardcover) by Stuart Streichler, which follows the legal thinking of the only dissenter in the Dread Scot Case. Christopher Phillips examines Ben H. Severance theory about reconstruction politics in Tennessee's Radical Army: The State Guard and Its Role in Reconstruction, 1867-1869 (University of Tennessee Press, ISBN 1572333626, $35.00 hardcover). Finally, in this Issues Civil War Treasures Column, Leah Wood Jewett gives us a guide to the Robert A. Mullen correspondence in Prompt succor: Boston nun offers comfort to New Orleans prisoner.

review of

The Civil War in History and Memory


, by Freeman, Christopher Skye, Civil War Book Review, (Winter 2006).