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Memories of War: Visiting Battlegrounds and Bonefields in the Early American Republic Hardcover – October 16, 2012
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"Americans in the early republic had trouble escaping war's shadow. The theme was not just found in Independence Day celebrations, which emphasized the nation's birth in warfare, but it was also seen on battlefields, at which casual travelers, visiting officials, misty-eyed veterans, and tourists confronted the nation's wartime heritage. According to Thomas A. Chambers, in this solidly researched and clearly written tome, such onlookers contoured the nation's public memory as much as any patriotic oration or celebration. Chambers has moved the debate about public memory into new territory. This is a valuable book that demands respect from historians of the early republic."―Journal of American History
"Thomas A. Chambers makes a significant contribution to the field of memory studies with his treatment of early American battlefield tourism, commemoration, and preservation. Chambers's study relies heavily on the accounts of early travelers to the battlefields of the Seven Years' War, American Revolution, and War of 1812 in New York, Virginia, South Carolina, and Canada....Memories of War: Visiting Battlegrounds and Bonefields in the Early American Republic is an excellentbook that makes an important contribution to understanding the preservation and commemoration of these historic battlefields."―Paul C. Reber,The Journal of Southern History(February 2014)
"Thomas Chambers's engaging and illuminating book describes an era when Americans had little interest in either preserving or touring sites, such as Fort Ticonderoga and Yorktown, that have become gems of America's heritage.... The research on which Chambers draws includes diaries, guidebooks, speeches, art, and his own visits to every battlefield from the Seven Years' War through the War of 1812 cited in his book."―John Resch, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (January 2014)
"Elegantly written and imaginatively researched, Chambers's book draws a welcome connection between constructions of memory and individual encounters with place. The book is especially illuminating when the author grounds visitors' particular perceptions of place in their prevailing hopes and anxieties, such as in his excellent final chapter set amid the bitter section controversy of the 1850s."―William and Mary Quarterly
"In the engaging Memories of War, Thomas A. Chambers does a great job of analyzing tourism at some of the most significant early battle sites in U.S. history. He skillfully shows the political consequences of the personal experiences of battlefield visitors. Tourists at historic sites, as well as scholars interested in military history, memory, and cultural history, will find this book appealing and satisfying."―Sarah Purcell, Grinnell College, author of Sealed with Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Memory in Revolutionary America
"Chambers explores how and why key American battlefields became memorials and tourist attractions, and the potentially powerful psychological and emotional effect these sites can have on visitors evoking the past. . . . His descriptions demonstrate first-hand knowledge of each place as well as deep research into primary sources. Fascinating and original, this is recommended to scholars and informed readers of American military and cultural history."―Library Journal (15 November 2012)
"Thomas A. Chambers has written a fascinating account of the motivations, methods, and discoveries of Americans who visited their earliest battlefields, and how this ultimately evolved into the preservation movement. His narrative is engaging and meticulously researched, with perceptive analysis."―David F. Riggs, author of Embattled Shrine: Jamestown in the Civil War
"This fascinating study is ideal reading for the ongoing sesquicentennial of the Civil War and bicentennial of the War of 1812. It offers a close examination of just how overgrown fields and crumbling fortresses came to be reclaimed as objects worthy of preservation and visitation."―Anthony Paletta, The Weekly Standard (25 February 2013)
About the Author
Thomas A. Chambers is Associate Professor of History at Niagara University. He is the author of Drinking the Waters: Creating an American Leisure Class at Nineteenth Century Mineral Springs.
Top Customer Reviews
I knew of the battlegrounds before I purchased the book. The book is not what I expected.