Literature and Stories

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Civil War Poetry and Prose

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Walt Whitman experienced the agonies of the Civil War firsthand, working, in his forties, as a dedicated volunteer throughout the conflict in Washington's overcrowded, understaffed military hospitals. This superb selection of his poems, letters, and prose from the war years, filled with the sights and sounds of war and its ugly aftermath, express a vast and powerful range of emotions.
Among the poems include here, first published in Drum-Taps (1865) and Sequel to Drum-Taps (1866), are a number of Whitman's most famous works: "O Captain! My Captain!" "The Wound-Dresser," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," and "Come Up from the Fields, Father." The letters and prose selections, including Whitman's musings on the publication of his works, on the wounded men he tended, and his impressions of Lincoln traveling about the city of Washington, offer keen insights into an extraordinary era in American history.

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Mightier than the Sword Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America

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Uncle Tom's Cabin is likely the most influential novel ever written by an American. In a fitting tribute to the two hundredth anniversary of Harriet Beecher Stowe's birth, Bancroft Prize-winning historian David S. Reynolds reveals her book's impact not only on the abolitionist movement and the American Civil War but also on worldwide events, including the end of serfdom in Russia, down to its influence in the twentieth century. He explores how both Stowe's background as the daughter in a famously intellectual family of preachers and her religious visions were fundamental to the novel. And he demonstrates why the book was beloved by millions--and won over even some southerners--while fueling lasting conflicts over the meaning of America. Although vilified over the years as often as praised, it has remained a cultural landmark, proliferating in the form of plays, songs, films, and merchandise--a rich legacy that has both fed and contested American racial stereotypes.
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Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations

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A critical overview of the work features the writings of Frederick Newberry, Donald Pizer, Lee Clark Mitchell, and other scholars.
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Untold Civil War Exploring the Human Side of War

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National Geographic presents provocative stories shedding new light on the Civil War, American history's watershed, from Union and Confederate soldiers to Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg.

Was Gettysburg a tactical success, or was the outcome determined by a far more mundane factor: access to fresh water? How did the need to spread information about the dead and wounded give rise to the U.S. Postal Service? Did President Lincoln really age so dramatically during the course of the war, or was a rare disease to blame for the shocking difference in images of him from before and during the war? From overlooked elements, such as the role of weather, health, and high emotions, to the world-changing effect of the rise of female workers, to the many "firsts" including the introduction of standard time, pre-sized clothing, canned goods, toilets, and Santa Claus, The Untold Civil War reveals new facets of a seemingly well-known slice of American history, just in time to commemorate its 150th anniversary.

Dramatically illustrated with archival images and objects and compelling contemporary photography, this book delivers a surprise on every page: from precious personal mementos to forgotten battle sites; from newly recovered glass-plate negatives that reveal long-obscured photographic details to long-lost documents; this book adds a new dimension to our understanding of the Civil War and is a must-have for anyone with an interest in American history.

Six thematic chapters--such as "Characters," "Connections," and "A War of Firsts"--present a short introductory essay followed by approximately 30 self-contained stories that detail surprising, little-known, and fresh aspects of the war. Themes both large and small will be explored and contextualized, painting a fascinating portrait of our national character and showcasing the enduring impact of the Civil War.