The Long Reconstruction: The Post-Civil War South in History, Film, and Memory

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  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2013-09-13
  • Publisher: Routledge

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With the end of the Civil War, slavery was abolished as an institution, and the South was absorbed back into the Union. However, even though nominally the war was over, during the Reconstruction period, things were far from decided. Today, Americans are still dealing with the legacy of both the Civil War and of Reconstruction, and the many myths and legends that have grown up around these events. Reconstruction: Event, Experience, and Mythaddresses important issues of Reconstruction and its legacy, especially comparing the general historiography of Reconstruction with those cultural products that promulgate some of the most common myths, including films such as The Birth of a Nationand Gone With the Wind, as well as Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner's stories, and taking a look at some other legacies of the Reconstruction period, such as the Lost Cause ideology and the experiences of women and children. Using popular culture as a vehicle, nine chapters tie these themes--violence and terrorism, race, gender, and economic reconstruction--together with the the idea of history as event, history as experience, and ultimately, history as myth. Designed to supplement a course on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Reconstruction: Event, Experience, and Mythwill show students how what they think they know may just be a legend.

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