The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture

Edited by Alice Fahs, Joan Waugh

296 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 illus., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5572-0
    Published: October 2004
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7581-0
    Published: October 2005
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7539-6
    Published: October 2005

Civil War America

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Awards & distinctions

2004 NYMAS Civil War Book Award, New York Military Affairs Symposium

The Civil War retains a powerful hold on the American imagination, with each generation since 1865 reassessing its meaning and importance in American life. This volume collects twelve essays by leading Civil War scholars who demonstrate how the meanings of the Civil War have changed over time.

The essays move among a variety of cultural and political arenas--from public monuments to parades to political campaigns; from soldiers' memoirs to textbook publishing to children's literature--in order to reveal important changes in how the memory of the Civil War has been employed in American life. Setting the politics of Civil War memory within a wide social and cultural landscape, this volume recovers not only the meanings of the war in various eras, but also the specific processes by which those meanings have been created. By recounting the battles over the memory of the war during the last 140 years, the contributors offer important insights about our identities as individuals and as a nation.


David W. Blight, Yale University

Thomas J. Brown, University of South Carolina

Alice Fahs, University of California, Irvine

Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia

J. Matthew Gallman, University of Florida

Patrick J. Kelly, University of Texas, San Antonio

Stuart McConnell, Pitzer College

James M. McPherson, Princeton University

Joan Waugh, University of California, Los Angeles

LeeAnn Whites, University of Missouri

Jon Wiener, University of California, Irvine

About the Authors

Alice Fahs is associate professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, and author of The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865.
For more information about Alice Fahs, visit the Author Page.

Joan Waugh is associate professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of Josephine Shaw Lowell.
For more information about Joan Waugh, visit the Author Page.


"A valuable new contribution. . . . Provides new insight."--H-Net Reviews

"Those curious about the war's larger place in American history and its continuing relevance will find here much to ponder."--Civil War News

"The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture is an excellent distillation of . . . scholarship, a kind of greatest hits collection that brings together a distinguished collection of middle period historians who perform characteristic riffs in a genre that they play with ease, skill, and insight. . . . It is hard to imagine a better distillation, even summation, of the study of the memory."--Journal of American History

"This is a great collection of essays, all of which speak to the powerful and ongoing hold the Civil War has had, and continues to have, on the American imagination."--Nina Silber, Boston University