Book of the Week


Defining Duty in the Civil War:
Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front

by J. Matthew Gallman

"A compelling examination of how struggling northerners defined, debated, and delineated loyal behavior during the four years of the American Civil War. At once entertaining and enlightening, Gallman’s lively survey of an impressive range of print literature yields fresh understanding of the evolving roles that patriotic Union civilians aspired to emulate."
--Joan Waugh, author of U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

~~~

Cartoon: Wade Hampton’s Whiskers, by Mark Wahlgren Summers

Political cartoon and commentary by historian M.W. Summers: How the Lost Cause lost its way with Wade Hampton […]

Cartoon: 1874 Arkansas Politics, by Mark Wahlgren Summers

On Thursdays over the coming weeks, we will feature a new cartoon—hand drawn by Summers—that offers a creative, satirical spin on Reconstruction history. Each cartoon is accompanied by brief commentary from the author/illustrator to help put things into context. These cartoons stimulate your brain, tickle your funny bone, and bring history to life in a whole new way. Next up in the satirical scaffold: the conflict between political parties in the Brooks-Baxter War. […]

Cartoon: The Grannies, by Mark Wahlgren Summers

Today’s cartoon focuses on the scandals of political patronage. […]

Cartoon: Sumner Gives the Lord Another Chance, by Mark Wahlgren Summers

Dealing with Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts must have made many of his colleagues appreciate why so many martyrs were burned at the stake. Sumner was righteous, eloquent, learned, and on the great questions of human equality he was conscience itself. But how exasperating it was for more practical senators to be lectured on where and how they were wrong by this dogged, pompous, thin-skinned, humorless man. […]

Cartoon: Not Everyone Loves a Parade, by Mark Wahlgren Summers

Louisiana’s first Republican governor, the flamboyant Henry Clay Warmoth was unable to rein in a free-spending legislature, one of the most corrupt anywhere south of New York. Not all the spending was stealing; money to aid railroad construction and special privileges given to northern corporations that might link New Orleans with Mobile, Texas, and the North could have freed the Pelican State from the cash-crop economy, in which freedpeople’s opportunities were limited—if it had worked. […]