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Defining Duty in the Civil War

by J. Matthew Gallman

The Civil War thrust Americans onto unfamiliar terrain, as two competing societies mobilized for four years of bloody conflict. Concerned Northerners turned to the print media for guidance on how to be good citizens in a war that hit close to home but was fought hundreds of miles away. They read novels, short stories, poems, songs, editorials, and newspaper stories. They laughed at cartoons and satirical essays. Their spirits were stirred in response to recruiting broadsides and patriotic envelopes. This massive cultural outpouring offered a path for ordinary Americans casting around for direction. Examining the breadth of Northern popular culture, J. Matthew Gallman offers a dramatic reconsideration of how the Union's civilians understood the meaning of duty and citizenship in wartime. Although a huge percentage of military-aged men served in the Union army, a larger group chose to stay home, even while they supported the war. This pathbreaking study investigates how men and women, both white and black, understood their roles in the People's Conflict. Wartime culture created humorous and angry stereotypes ridiculing the nation's cowards, crooks, and fools, while wrestling with the challenges faced by ordinary Americans. Gallman shows how thousands of authors, artists, and readers together created a new set of rules for navigating life in a nation at war.

Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia during the Civil War

by J. Matthew Gallman

Mastering Wartime is the first comprehensive study of a Northern city during the Civil War. J. Matthew Gallman argues that, although the war posed numerous challenges to Philadelphia's citizens, the city's institutions and traditions proved to be sufficiently resilient to adjust to the crisis without significant alteration. Following the wartime actions of individuals and groups-workers, women, entrepreneurs-he shows that while the war placed pressure on private and public organizations to centralize, Philadelphia's institutions remained largely decentralized and tradition bound. Gallman explores the war's impact on a wide range of aspects of life in Philadelphia. Among the issues addressed are recruitment and conscription of soldiers, individual responses to wartime separation and death, individual and institutional benevolence, civic rituals, crime and disorder, government contracting, and long-term economic development. The book compares the wartime years to the antebellum period and discusses the war's legacies in the postwar decade.

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Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.

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