288 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 78 halftones, notes, index
Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era
How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War
More than 60,000 books have been published on the Civil War. Most Americans, though, get their ideas about the war--why it was fought, what was won, what was lost--not from books but from movies, television, and other popular media. In an engaging and accessible survey, Gary W. Gallagher guides readers through the stories told in recent film and art, showing how these stories have both reflected and influenced the political, social, and racial currents of their times.
"Gallagher, one of our finest historians of the Civil War, brings an abundance of sharp insights to this thoughtful analysis. By drawing attention to four principal traditions of interpretation in cinema and art, he demonstrates how popular culture both reflects and shapes our understanding of the war's meaning."
--American Historical Review
"In-depth, analytical, and thought-provoking. . . . An important, must read for students of the Civil War."
--Journal of American History
"A solidly researched and intriguing exploration of the influence of popular culture on public understanding of the war. Anyone interested in the Civil War and the impact of media on historical understanding will find Gallagher's latest book rewarding on many levels."
--Civil War Times
"[A] highly entertaining analysis of how the Civil War has been treated in popular culture."
--The Boston Globe
"Provides insight into how the war is viewed in contemporary American culture. . . . The four interpretive frameworks Gallagher uses for his analysis are instructive for understanding the dominant trends in art and film."
"A short and very readable book that should appeal to anyone with more than a passing interest in the Civil War."
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