Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865

By Murray, Jennifer M. | The Journal of Southern History, November 2018 | Go to article overview

Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865


Murray, Jennifer M., The Journal of Southern History


Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865. By Robert J. Cook. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017. Pp. xii, 273. $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4214-2349-4.)

The current discourse about the place of Civil War symbols on the landscape of the United States has once again opened the vibrant, cacophonous chords of Civil War memory. Civil War scholars have explored these "'mystic chords of memory'" and America's contested narratives of the nation's most divisive event (p. 13). David W. Blight's Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge, Mass., 2001) has defined much of the historiographies conversation. Blight argues that Union and Confederate veterans willingly forgot the war's contested elements in order to promote sectional reconciliation. Recent scholars, including Caroline E. Janney and M. Keith Harris, have disputed Blight's thesis, suggesting a more contested process of reconciliation. Robert J. Cook's Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865 offers the most recent attempt to explore Americans' memories of the nation's defining conflict. Whereas most scholars of Civil War memory focus on the war's veterans, Cook also considers Civil War memory in the twenty-first century, thereby showing the continued relevance of the Civil War in modern politics and culture.

The first section of the book covers familiar terrain. Cook challenges Blight's reconciliation thesis, arguing that Union and Confederate veterans did not forget the war's divisive aspects. Instead, he maintains, the veterans "played an active role in the reconciliation process, but not through any desire to forget on their part" (p. 97). Veterans advanced reconciliation through a deliberate recognition that their foes fought courageously for their respective causes. The process of forgetting came from subsequent generations who expressed no interest in widening the sectional chasm. Cook credits Gilded Age writers and publishers for having a hand in shaping Civil War memory. Through important publications in Century, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, and Annals of the War, readers were regaled with often-glorified tales of the war's soldiers and battles. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States since 1865
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.