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"Collecting U.S. Civil War Books: The Men & Women" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2020 3:17 p.m. PST

….of the Conflict

"The Civil War was perhaps the quintessential American experience. It features battles, political intrigue, espionage, technology development, foreign relations, civic duty and citizenship, patriotism, nationalism, philanthropy, humanitarian assistance, liberation, and military occupation and much more. However, the one common thread throughout all the adjectives in the preceding sentence is that people were the means and the ends of each of these words. These words have a flesh and blood quality in rhetoric and reality.

In the past, there was ‘The Great Man' theory of history, in which larger historical events, trends, and social values were often addressed through the biography of generals, statesmen, entrepreneurs, and scoundrels. The use of biography has endured long past the expansion of the historical narrative beyond the ‘Great Man' model. Thus in the literature of the Civil War there is a vast array of works on lesser known individuals and small groups.

Many North Americans will be familiar with the famous life stories of the major figures like Abraham Lincoln, the generals Ulysses S Grant and Robert E Lee and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis. Sometimes I wonder if George Armstrong Custer is only remembered for his defeat at the Little Big Horn – Custer's Civil War accomplishments led to him to become the youngest Union officer to "make General" but his actions are often forgotten. There are many men and women from this conflict who now survive in books rather than in the memories of American citizens…"
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