The Imagined Civil War
Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865
Instead of narrowly portraying the Civil War as a clash between two great, white armies, popular literature offered a wide range of representations of the conflict and helped shape new modes of imagining the relationships of diverse individuals to the nation. Works that explored the war's devastating impact on white women's lives, for example, proclaimed the importance of their experiences on the home front, while popular writings that celebrated black manhood and heroism in the wake of emancipation helped readers begin to envision new roles for blacks in American life.
Recovering a lost world of popular literature, The Imagined Civil War adds immeasurably to our understanding of American life and letters at a pivotal point in our history.