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- This Distracted and Anarchical People
While most of the fighting took place in the South, the Civil War profoundly affected the North. As farm boys became soldiers and marched off to battle, social, economic, and political changes transformed northern society. In the generations following the conflict, historians tried to understand and explain the North’s Civil War experience. Many historical explanations became taken for granted, such as that the Union Army was ideologically Republican, northern Democrats were disloyal, and German Americans were lousy soldiers. Now in this eye-opening collection of eleven stimulating essays, new and important information is unearthed that solidly challenges the old historical arguments.
The essays in This Distracted and Anarchical People range widely throughout the history of the Civil War North, using new methods and sources to reexamine old theories and discover new aspects of the nation’s greatest conflict. Many of these issues are just as important today as they were a century and a half ago. What were the extent and limits of wartime dissent in the North? How could a president most effectively present himself to the public? Can the savagery of war ever be tamed? How did African Americans create and maintain their families?
This Distracted and Anarchical People highlights the newest scholarship on a diverse array of topics, bringing fresh insight to bear on some of the most important topics in history today—such as the democratic press in the antebellum North, peace movements, the Union Army and the elections of 1864, Liberia and the U.S. Civil War, and African American veterans and marriage practices after Emancipation.
Matthew Warshauer is a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of numerous books, including Connecticut in the American Civil War:Slavery, Sacrifi ce, and Survival (Wesleyan University Press, 2011) and Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law: Nationalism, Civil Liberties, and Partisanship (University ofTennessee Press, 2006). He has also published numerous articles and essays, and edits the journal Connecticut History.
Karen Fisher Younger
Karen Fisher Younger is the former managing director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at the Pennsylvania State University and managing editor of the journal Civil War History. She is coeditor of Lincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).
Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of the nation’s leading authorities on Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. He served as co-chairman of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and has written, co-written, or edited 35 books.
Matthew Isham is managing director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at the Pennsylvania State University and managing editor of the journal Civil War History. His dissertation, completed in 2010, is titled “ ‘Breaking Over the Boundary’: The Role of Party Newspapers in Democratic Factionalism in the Antebellum North, 1845–1852.”
Christian B. Keller
Christian B. Keller is Professor of History at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Along with many scholarly articles focusing on the ethnic experience in the Civil War, he is author of Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory (Fordham, 2007) and coauthor of Damn Dutch: Pennsylvania Germans at Gettysburg (Stackpole, 2004). He is currently editing and translating the memoirs of a German American soldier in the 41st New York
Jonathan W. White
JONATHAN W. WHITE is a Ph.D. candidate in United States History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has published articles on Civil War politics in Civil War History, American Nineteenth Century History, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and Pennsylvania Heritage. In 2005 he was awarded the John T. Hubbell Prize for the best article in Civil War history for the previous year.
Andrew L. Slap
Andrew L. Slap is Associate Professor of History at East Tennessee State University. He is the author of The Doom of Reconstruction: The Liberal Republicans in the Civil War Era (Fordham University Press, 2006).
Michael Thomas Smith
Michael Thomas Smith is Assistant Professor of History at McNeese State University. He is the author of The Enemy Within: Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North.
Timothy J. Orr
Timothy J. Orr is an assistant professor of history at Old Dominion University. His dissertation examined urban military mobilization in the North during the Civil War. He is the author of two essays, “‘A Viler Enemy in Our Rear’: Pennsylvania Soldiers Confront the North’s Antiwar Movement,” in The View from the Ground: The Experiences of Civil War Soldiers (University Press of Kentucky, 2006), and “‘On Such Slender The reads Does the Fate of Nations Depend’: The 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters at the Battle of Gettysburg,” in “The Most Shocking Battle I Ever Witnessed”: Th e Second Day at Gettysburg (Gettysburg National Military Park, 2008). He has edited “Last to Leave the Field”: Th e Life and Letters of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward, Company D, 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (University of Tennessee Press, 2011).
Robert M. Sandow
Robert M. Sandow is an associate professor of history at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Deserter Country: Civil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians (Fordham University Press, 2009) and has presented numerous articles and conference papers. His recent work addresses issues of political dissent and rural protest on the northern home front.
Barbara A. Gannon is an assistant professor of history at the University of Central Florida.She is the author of “Th e Won Cause”: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic (University of North Carolina pess, 2011), which received HonorableMention for the 2012 Lincoln Prize. She has also published “Sites of Memory, Sites of Glory: African-American Grand Army of the Republic Posts in Pennsylvania,” in Making and Remaking Pennsylvania’s Civil War (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001), and has presented papers at numerous conferences, including the Southern Historical Association and the Society of Military History.
Michael F. Holt
Michael F. Holt is the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History (1974) at the University of Virginia. He is the author of even books, including Th e Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 1999), which was runner-up for the Lincoln Prize in 2000, and his mostrecent book is Franklin Pierce (Times Books, 2010). He has also coedited a book and is coauthor of one of the standard textbooks of the Civil War era, The Civil War and construction, 3rd edition, revised (Norton, 2001).
Michael J. Bennett
Michael J. Bennett is currently the Earhart Civil War Fellow at the University of Michigan,Clements Library. Before that he was Visiting Assistant Professor of History at High Point University (2008–11). He received his PhD from Saint Louis University. Prior to joining the faculty he was a Visiting Professor at Wake Forest University (2006–8) andKent State University (2002–6). His research interest is the American Civil War in the areas of the relationship between war and society the law. His book Union Jacks: Yankee Sailors in the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) won numerous awards, including the Civil War Roundtable of New York City’s Fletcher Pratt Literary Award for the Best Civil War Book of 2004 and the North American Society for Oceanic History’sJohn Lyman Book Award as the Best Book in United States Naval History for 2004.
"An informative and thought-provoking series of essays that plow through new ground, unearth a wealth of new stories garnered by extensive primary source research and plant new seeds of historical questions into the minds of the reader."—Brian Craig Miller, Emporia State University
"For many years Mark Neely has been one of the most productive and innovative scholars of the Civil War Era. As a mentor, he has passed on his wonderful eye for the unmined source, the intriguing detail, and the unanticipated argument. This wonderful collection of essays is thick with such gems. The reader of this superb volume will find familiar ideas challenged, new perspectives on old questions, and essays that point to exciting new directions for Civil War scholarship. Taken as a group, the volume's authors represent the cutting edge of work on the northern home front."—J. Matthew Gallman, University of Florida
"This compelling set of essays underscores the vibrancy of the field of Civil War studies. Wide-ranging in their approach to political, social, and military aspects of the conflict, they challenge a number of prevailing interpretive conventions and suggest numerous avenues for further investigation. I have no doubt that they will inspire some readers and upset others--a sure indication that they have achieved a major success."—Gary Gallagher, author of The Union War
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