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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
E209 .P93 2010 (Onlin) (Browse shelf) Available ocn802050319

Includes bibliographical references (p. [213]-263) and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


War clouds are building up again in the US, and they underscore Purcell's opening statement that "[m]ilitary memory ... is really at the heart of American national identity." Her particular subject is the Revolutionary War, but her thesis echoes the work of scholars who have focused on other blood-lettings: the Civil War, the Great War, WW II, Vietnam, and even the Gulf War. Purcell addresses the construction of a collective memory that shaped US identity. Recognizing that the Revolution was also a divisive war marked by terrible suffering and brutality, she demonstrates how these were glossed over by the tropes of putative shared sacrifice, hardship, republican virtues, and heroes--all necessary to sanitize the realities of human sacrifice and the fractures of political, ideological, and social difference. To this end, Purcell analyzes the paraphernalia of memory making: parades, monuments, commemorations, dramas, and literature. The volume is organized chronologically in five periods between 1775-1825, through the war and its aftermath. An afterword reflects on the tragic irony that despite these exercises in memory work, the result was two visions of the US: the idealism of individual liberty opposed by those resistant to central power. Well written; thoroughly footnoted; adequately illustrated. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General collections and upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Osborne Queen's University at Kingston

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Sarah J. Purcell holds A.M. & Ph.D. degrees in history from Brown University & a B.A. from Grinnell College where she teaches American history. She lives in Iowa. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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