American oracle : the Civil War in the civil rights era / David W. Blight.

By: Blight, David WMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011Description: 314 pages : illustrations ; 22 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780674048553 (alk. paper); 0674048555 (alk. paper); 9780674725973 (pbk.); 0674725972 (pbk.)Subject(s): Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989 | Catton, Bruce, 1899-1978 | Wilson, Edmund, 1895-1972 | Baldwin, James, 1924-1987 | United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Historiography | United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- InfluenceAdditional physical formats: No titleDDC classification: 973.70072 LOC classification: E468.5 | .B55 2011Other classification: NP 6020
Contents:
"Five score years ago": civil war and civil rights -- "Gods and devils aplenty": Robert Penn Warren -- A formula for enjoying the war: Bruce Catton -- "Lincoln and Lee and all that": Edmund Wilson -- "This country is my subject": James Baldwin -- "The wisdom of tragedy": Ralph Ellison had a dream.
Summary: David Blight takes his readers back to the centennial celebration of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to determine how Americans then made sense of the suffering, loss, and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. --from publisher description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E468.5 .B55 2011 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002128858

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"Five score years ago": civil war and civil rights -- "Gods and devils aplenty": Robert Penn Warren -- A formula for enjoying the war: Bruce Catton -- "Lincoln and Lee and all that": Edmund Wilson -- "This country is my subject": James Baldwin -- "The wisdom of tragedy": Ralph Ellison had a dream.

David Blight takes his readers back to the centennial celebration of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to determine how Americans then made sense of the suffering, loss, and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. --from publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

As the US marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Blight (history, Yale) looks back to how four diverse writers--southerner-turned-Yankee Robert Penn Warren, historian Bruce Catton, literary critic Edmund Wilson, and African American novelist-essayist James Baldwin--approached the war's legacy during its centennial, which also marked the advent of the civil rights movement. Although critical of the South's "lost cause" tradition (as an "alibi" for continued backwardness and racism), Warren lamented the rhetorical self-righteousness on both sides, which he believed led to the war. While "refus[ing] to countenance" the use of commemorative activities "to thwart the Civil Rights Movement," Catton sought through his military histories to promote a sense of national unity. Wilson, by contrast, "borrowed ... from the Lost Cause tradition" to argue, implausibly, that "Northerners' concern to preserve the Union ... had nothing to do with freeing slaves," and he admired the South's ostensibly "principled stand against centralization, industrialization, and commercialization." Baldwin's involvement in the civil rights movement caused him to view the Civil War commemoration as a "lie" or "evasion." Though marred by occasional snippets of contemporary political partisanship, Blight's study is overall a valuable contribution to historical understanding. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. D. Schaefer College of the Holy Cross

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