Lessons of War is a must read for anyone with even the slightest inclination to understand and appreciate our history. It takes the reader on a sound path through subject matter significant to Civil War-era children. We are introduced to the writers and publications of the time. The work is, itself, a celebration and serves as a modern reference.
For farm children near the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pa., and Spotsylvania, Va., the Civil War was an exercise in personal terror. For affluent New Yorkers such as seven-year-old Theodore Roosevelt, it was more abstract: a distant, glamorous altercation between dashing Confederate uncles and the Union armies backed by the majority of Manhattan Roosevelts, most of whom managed to avoid service. Less-wealthy children of the same city found the war a mysterious, heartless vacuum into which their fathers too often vanished. And for a black adolescent in Alabama, the years 1861-65 were nothing but a long wait for deliverance--a wait made more tedious and painful by the deprivations of the Confederacy's war-ravaged economy. Drawing on diaries, memoirs and school records, Marquette University history professor Marten (Texas Divided: Loyalty and Dissent in the Lone Star State, 1856-1874) gives us these stories and more as he explores the various ways children (black and white, rich and poor, male and female, North and South) encountered and understood the war. Through his absorbing first-rate social history, Marten sheds much-needed light on a previously neglected aspect of Civil War history. In the process, he reveals the ways in which the war shaped an entire generation of American youth, for good and for ill. (Sept.) FYI: Marten also edited Lessons of War: The Civil War in Children's Magazines due in November from SR Books (104 Greenhill Ave., Wilmington, Del. 19805-1897), paper $18.95 150p ISBN 0-8420-2656-8).
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Title: Lessons of War: The Civil War in Children's Magazines
Author: James Marten
Publisher: Scholarly Resources, Inc.
Date Published: November 1998
Table of Contents:
|Introduction: "The Great Importance of Little Things"|
|1||Chats with Readers "Round the Evening Lamp": Creating a Literary Community||1|
|2||Patriotism and Perseverance: Oliver Optic's Civil War||33|
|3||Playgrounds into Paradegrounds: Civil War Children at Play||73|
|4||The Roll Call of the Brave: Loss and Sacrifice||101|
|5||"Some Day I Shall Be with You Again": Children and Soldiers||121|
|6||Home Guards: Virtue and the War Effort||155|
|7||Times of Wretchedness and Brighter Days: Magazines for Southern Children||205|
|8||"Joy for the Conquering Right": Mourning and Celebrating the End of the War||223|
|Epilogue: "This Cruel War"||241|
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