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The Boundaries of American Political Culture in the Civil War Era (The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era) Hardcover – October 24, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0807829868 ISBN-10: 0807829862 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (October 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807829862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807829868
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rich work, well researched and thought provoking, yet surprisingly modest in bulk and heft. . . . Clear and direct in argument, Neely supports his thesis well and avoids the trap of overcomplicated prose. A great piece of scholarship, it will prove interesting for both students and scholars of American history and politics." -- "Arkansas Review"

Book Description

"[A] splendid little volume . . . unfailingly smart, imaginative, and thought provoking. . . . A joy to read. All those interested in the political culture of the Civil War Era will want this book on their shelves."--Journal of Southern History

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery on December 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Neely's book offers a fresh and insightful analysis of American political culture during the American Civil War period. More specifically, his book offers a material culture approach to understanding the relationship between people and politics. This study of objects includes lithographs, prints, political cartoons and posters, sheet music, pamphlets and other objects that contained political meaning. These objects can help reinforce or add new interpretations to our understanding of the past.

Neely is interested in showing us these objects of American political culture which in turn tells us more about the people of that time period and their interest or activity in politics. The theme of his book concerns the boundaries between the public realm of politics and the private home. In other words just how interested and involved ordinary citizens were in the politics of their day. Neely argues that the boundary lines weren't as distinct and separate as some historians have argued, though not denying the very limited role of women in political issues and debates for example.

The workplace and clubs like the Union League offered some means of public expression of political activity on the part of various groups of citizens. Minstrel shows, which could be considered part of the pop culture of the mid nineteenth century, became caught up in the political debates and issues of the day, though never purely connected to any party or cause.

Neely discusses these topics much better than I can. His book is relatively short and not always fulfilling; it does lack a bit in terms of comprehensiveness, but as he admits, the material evidence isn't always there in large quantities. Nevertheless, this book offers a different way of looking at political culture during the Civil War period, mainly concerning Northern politics.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip Leetch on March 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It was a delight to read this charming and cogently argued book that takes one into the world of politicking in the mid- nineteenth century and shows how involved voters got. Splendid.
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