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Inventing Stonewall Jackson: A Civil War Hero in History and Memory (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) Hardcover – May 6, 2011


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Inventing Stonewall Jackson: A Civil War Hero in History and Memory (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) + For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War + Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era)
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Product Details

  • Series: Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press (May 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807137812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807137819
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wallace Hettle, professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa, is the author of The Peculiar Democracy: Southern Democrats in Peace and Civil War.

Customer Reviews

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See all 6 customer reviews
I would say that it was a great read, very informative and intellectual!
Curtis A. Cecil
This is a fascinating, well-written, and thoroughly-researched book on an unusual topic - the creation of a legend and the changing nature of that legend over time.
D. Welker
This is a book that can be recommended to the moderate to advanced student of Jackson and should be considered for any serious Civil War library.
Robert Redd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Redd VINE VOICE on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In the hierarchy of Confederate legends perhaps only Robert E. Lee is more and has been more worshipped than Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. For a man who perished at seemingly the top of his game Jackson left a surprisingly small paper trail for historians to examine. In his new book Inventing Stonewall Jackson author Wallace Hettle rather than examine Jackson himself examines some of the most famous Jackson biographers and how their lives may tie in to their portrayal of the Confederate heroes legend.

For readers wanting to have a short introductory biography to Jackson this is not the place to look. While readers will learn about the legendary general this is really more a book for advanced students of Jackson who are widely read and looking to further their understanding of him. For those unfamiliar with the literature on Jackson this could become a difficult read.

The span of works covered by Hettle include those from Lost Cause advocates such as Robert Lewis Dabney, a fictionalized work by Mary Johnston, a work by the nationally known poet Allen Tate, the movie Gods and Generals, amongst others. This broad body of work that is examined is a strength of this book. In examining these works Hettle attempts to point out how the lives of the authors are put into their version of Jackson's life and how these works play into the entire legend that now surrounds Jackson.

Hettle has chosen a path that should probably be employed by anbody doing research on a historical figure that has had considerable material written about them. While I enjoyed this book I would have been much better prepared for it had I been more familiar with the source material. This is a book that can be recommended to the moderate to advanced student of Jackson and should be considered for any serious Civil War library. While not a large book the thorough bibliography and notes sections show the research that has gone into this work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Welker on January 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating, well-written, and thoroughly-researched book on an unusual topic - the creation of a legend and the changing nature of that legend over time. Though Civil War readers might be put off by the focus on Jackson's biographers and storytellers, they should stick with this work to the end. Doing so will not only reveal to Civil War readers how the myth of "Stonewall" was created and fanned by Jackson himself and his wife and friends, but you'll see how this myth has changed and survived over time. As the author readily admits, Jackson himself remains an enigma, so peering through the well-crafted image is vital to better understanding just who this great (if erratic) general really was. Even for those readers not wishing to learn more about the war, this volume offers insight into the creation of the personal myth and (indirectly) how to see past that fabricated image to uncover the truth of the subject - a skill that every modern American must develop if he or she wishes to cut through the media- and interest group-created images of our current set of leaders. Every American who wishes to know how these myths are created--and how to see through them in order to not be fooled or misled--should read this book. It's a small gem.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stu Camenzind on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting admixture of plain, clear language and thoughtful thorough research. A diligent depiction of Stonewall Jackson as he was, examined against the progression of his mythological guise as others needed or pretended him to be.

Edit You really don't have to be a scholar to read this book, despite what other reviewers imply.
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More About the Author

Wallace Hettle is a Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches the Civil War and Reconstruction, and courses on Mark Twain, slavery, and Abraham Lincoln. He is developing a primary source reader on the Confederacy.

Hettle lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa with his wife,their son, and their remarkably well-behaved cat. He is currently reading William Herndon's classic biography of Lincoln.


You can reach Wallace Hettle at wallace.hettle@uni.edu.


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