Monday, October 15, 2007

Civil War America: Voices from the Home Front

by James C. Marten

From the publisher:
The author of an acclaimed account of the lives of children in the Civil War, Marten here provides a more comprehensive introduction to the civilian history of the Civil War. Concise, vividly written chapters describe the home front through the lives of individuals and the histories of events and institutions in the North and South. The stories are organized around five broad themes: the northern home front, the southern home front, children, African Americans, and the war's aftermath.

The case studies feature voices of the famous, like Edmund Riffin and Booker T. Washington, but more often they offer the testimony of ordinary men, women, and children.The civilian history of the Civil War is one of changes large and small: the destruction of old racial relationships, the challenge to southern whites' assumptions and complacency, the expansion of government power and responsibility. In more personal terms, the changes include shifting notions of personal worth, and the centrality of war-time experiences to individual lives. Marten extends the story beyond the close of the fighting, to the legacies that shaped American culture for generations after the guns fell silent: veterans to care for, memories to file, nightmares to overcome, and lessons to process.

A superb blend of traditional narrative, case studies, and individual stories, Civil War America is a valuable resource for students and their teachers at all seeking to understand the many ways in which the Civil War was truly a people's war.

From CWBN:
This title is a reissue.