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The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History Paperback – October 18, 2010
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The Lost Cause... is a tangible and influential phenomenon in American culture and this book provides an excellent source for anyone seeking to explore its various dimensions." ―Southern Historian
"Well reasoned and timely." ―Booklist
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Top Customer Reviews
This collection contains several interesting essays, some weaker ones, and one misfire. Unfortunately, the misfire leads off the collection: Alan T. Nolan's "Anatomy of the myth." While Mr. Nolan accurately summarizes key feature of Lost Cause historiography, his tone is needlessly shrill. It seems silly to have to point out that "Gone with the wind"--both book and movie--are works of fiction. They were widely embraced by a white American populous of the 1930s seeking an escapist depiction of a romantic past in the midst of the Great Depression. Focusing on GWTW as a flawed depiction of historical events is about as useless as doing the same with "Braveheart" or the latest "Robin Hood.Read more ›
Overall, the essays are solid: some great, some good, and a few are only okay. I found Alan Nolan's, Gary Gallagher's, and Jeffrey Wert's essays to be most compelling. They are all well written, researched, and argued. Also, the topics they cover are interesting. Although I do not agree with Alan Nolan's low opinion of General Lee as a soldier, the rest of his essay takes many of the myths of the "Lost Cause" head-on, and dispells them convincinly.
Two of the essays I did not find very exciting: Keith Bohannon's, or Charles Holden's. The topic were too narrow for my taste. The other essays are all good, and helped add to my understanding of the war.
I recommend this book to anyone who is a Civil War "buff", or student of the war. If you think that the war was not fought over slavery, but only states rights, you should explore the discussion of this topic in numerous essays.
I don't really have much to add to what has been said, but I did want to make available the table of contents:
Introduction by Gary W. Gallgher
One: The Anatomy of the Myth by Alan T. Nolan
Two: Jubal A. Early, the Lost Cause, and Civil War History: A Persistent Legacy by Gary W. Gallagher
Three: "Is Our Love for Wade Hampton Foolishness?": South Carolina and the Lost Cause by Charles J. Holden
Four: "These Few Gray-Haired, Battle-Scarred Veterans": Confederate Army Reunions in Georgia, 1885-95 by Keith S. Bohannon
Five: New South Visionaries: Virginia's Last Generation of Slaveholders, the Gospel of Progress, and the Lost Cause by Peter S. Carmichael
Six: James Longstreet and the Lost Cause by Jeffry D. Wert
Seven: Continuous Hammering and Mere Attrition: Lost Cause Critics and the Military Reputation of Ulysses S. Grant by Brooks D. Simpson
Eight: "Let the People See the Old Life as it Was": LaSalle Corbell Pickett and the Myth of the Lost Cause by Lesley J. Gordon
Nine: The Immortal Confederacy: Another Look at Lost Cause Religion Lloyd A. Hunter
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written book. Very thoughtfully written. The essays make sense. But be forewarned. If you have bought into the lost cause Myth. You might find some shockers. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Bradd
Very good treatment of the origins and reality of the Lost Cause.Published 4 months ago by M. Hundley
This is an excellent collection of essays that provides history of the "Myth of the Lost Cause" on several topics. It make clear that the Lost Cause is just a myth. Read morePublished 7 months ago by R Colton
Fascinating book that shows "spinning" current events is definitely nothing new. The civil war had its own set of "Bahgdad Bobs" right after the war. Read morePublished 14 months ago by John F. Stoops
The first essay was worth the price of the book, but the others did not meet that high standard. I would have liked some expansion on that first essay. What I got was trivia...Published 14 months ago by R. G. Steen
Interesting start to the discussion, but the essay format is so short it can only brush the surface. The article on Wade Hampton I found to be the most interesting. Read morePublished 14 months ago by John Cuddy
Excellent analysis and review of the rise and effect of the "Lost Cause" mythology that still permeates the study of the U.S. Civil War to this day.Published 22 months ago by Kevin Brown
This book feels more like a scholarly paper than something written for the general public. Not much fun to read.Published on January 15, 2014 by James L. Carr
With the end of the Civil War, the South came face to face with a debacle. All had been lost: their economy, their traditions and finally their hopes. Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by arthur banner