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Comment: Ex-Library: contains identifying library markings but withdrawn from circulation, some wear
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Gone with the Glory: The History of the Civil War in Cinema Hardcover – September 28, 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Hollywood has had a long and complex relationship with the American Civil War. From The Birth of a Nation through Glory and Cold Mountain, scores of Civil War-related films have revealed at least as much about the eras in which they were made as about the events and characters they depicted. Brian Wills's excellent treatment, which captures the ebb and flow of cinematic themes and interpretations over the past 90 years, will prove invaluable in helping readers choose which films to watch. (Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Confederate War and Lee and His Generals in War and Memory)

Films are not history, though they often make history. Cinema, like literature, has always been used to demonstrate the attitudes of the present toward the past, and Brian Wills's Gone With the Glory offers a penetrating insight into how 20th century filmmakers have chosen to see and present the Civil War to Americans across five generations. If there were an Academy Award for film history, Brian Wills would soon be polishing a little golden statuette. (William C. Davis, professor of history, Virginia Tech)

Brian Wills has approached the American fascination with film entertainment by analyzing the significance of Civil War movies, both old and new. From interpreting historical accuracy to dissecting emotional impact, Wills has probed our obsession with the movies that have shaped our essential views about the past. Here is fine entertainment in itself, and also the educational value this superb author intrinsically seeks. (Wiley Sword, author of Southern Invincibility: A History of the Confederate Heart)

Brian Steel Wills, who knows his movies as well as he knows his history—and loves both—steers us, with his usual style and expertise, through Civil War cinema, old and new—from Birth of a Nation to Gone with the Wind to Gods and Generals. In this delightful change-of-pace book, he expertly, for our benefit, connects what really happened with what Hollywood likes to think could have happened in some of the most stirring moments in Civil War history. (John C. Waugh, author of The Class of 1846)

Brian Steel Wills's Gone with the Glory is a perceptive and engrossing examination of Hollywood's treatment of America's greatest saga on the silver screen. From Birth of a Nation to Gods and Generals, Hollywood has produced scores of films on the epic struggle between North and South. A gifted historian and writer, Wills has given us the finest book on a fascinating subject. (Jeffry D. Wert, author of The Sword of Lincoln)

This book is a highly enjoyable read. Brian Wills has a knack with a pen (or keyboard). His knowledge of Civil War film is amazing. If the reader is interested in Civil War films, I highly recommend this volume. (Blake A. Magner Civil War News)

Generally, books about Hollywood's treatment of history have been written for either academicians or film buffs, but seldom both. Wills has bridged the gap with his latest work. . . . For anyone interested in starting their own Civil War film library, this book is a must-own. (Tom Elmore Blue and Gray Magazine)

A great read. (Post Library)

This book is a must-read for those with a penchant for Civil War movies and will be invaluable to instructors wishing to screen films in class. But beware, after reading this book you will likely find yourself heading to your local video store in search of some of these titles—and you will no doubt watch with Wills's commentary running through your head.

(Civil War History)

Brian S. Wills is a fine scholar and writer. . . . Film and Civil War buffs will enjoy this book as will baby boomers.

(America's Civil War)

About the Author

Brian Steel Wills is director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University. He is the author of The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest, The War Hits Home: The Civil War in Southeastern Virginia, and No Ordinary College: A History of the University of Virginia at Wise.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (September 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742545253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742545250
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,254,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By S. Lippman on November 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to the book through a museum presentation by the author at North Carolina's Museum of the Albemarle. The context was exceptional, as the 2013 exhibition "Real to Reel" was in place on the making Gone With the Wind at the same time. The information in Gone with the Glory is a rare lens to be looking through for any Civil War buff and a resource for educators in an increasingly visual world of teaching and learning. The book opens up ways to use film for conversations on what is accurate and what is not in depictions of the war that, surprising to most, incurred more American losses associated with it than the sum of all other wars with American troop deployments combined, through major US deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Meh, I was a little disappointed in that it didn't contain a lot of behind the scenes type revelations. My expectations were probably too high. It's an ok read IMO. Civil War buffs will like but not love; every day readers will want to pass!
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