The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History

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Indiana University Press, 2000 - History - 231 pages
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The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War HistoryEdited by Gary W. Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan

Nine distinguished historians debunk the myth of the Lost Cause.

The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History posits the following notion: that the Confederacy was doomed from the start in its struggle against the superior might of the Union, but its forces fought heroically against all odds for the cause of states' rights. In reality, this was and is an elaborate and intentional effort on the part of Southerners to rationalize the secession and the war itself. Unfortunately, skillful propagandists (beginning with Jubal Early) have been so successful in promoting this romanticized view that the Lost Cause has assumed a life of its own, leaving truth in the dust. Misrepresenting the war's true origins and its actual course, the myth of the Lost Cause distorts our national memory. The controversy currently raging in South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas over the display of Confederate symbols illustrates the power and saliency of this myth. In The Myth of the Lost Cause, nine historians describe and analyze the Lost Cause, identifying the ways in which it falsifies history. They have created a thoughtful and provocative volume that makes a major contribution to Civil War historiography.

Alan T. Nolan is author of Lee Considered and The Iron Brigade and is editor of Giants in Their Tall Black Hats, the latter two books published by Indiana University Press.

Gary W. Gallagher is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has written and published numerous books on the Civil War, including Lee and His Generals in War and Memory, Lee the Soldier, and The Confederate War.

[Note: Must include contents in catalog.]ContentsIntroduction, Gary W. GallagherThe Anatomy of the Myth, Alan T. NolanJubal A. Early, The Lost Cause and Civil War History, A Persistent Legacy, Gary W. GallagherIs Our Love for Wade Hampton Foolishness?: South Carolina and the Lost Cause, Charles J. HoldenThese Few Gray-haired, Battle-Scarred Veterans: Confederate Army Reunions in Georgia (1885-1895), Keith S. BohannonNew South Visionaries: Virginia's Last Generation of Slaveholders: The Gospel of Progress and the Lost Cause, Peter J. CarmichaelJames Longstreet and the Lost Cause, Jeffrey D. WertContinuous Hammering and Mere Attrition: Lost Cause Critics and the Military Reputation of Ulysses S. Grant, Brooks D. SimpsonLet the People See the Old Life as It Was: Lasalle Corbell Pickett and the Myth of the Lost Cause, Lesley J. GordonThe Immortal Confederacy: Another Look at Lost Cause Religion, Lloyd A. Hunter


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Just about every Southern town has a Daughters or Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter that embraces the Myth of the Lost Cause with a fervor that would make their 19th-century ancestors proud ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has written or edited a number of books in the field of Civil War-era history, including, most recently, The Confederate War, Lee and His Generals in War and Memory; and Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War.

Alan T. Nolan (1923-2008) is author of Lee Considered: Robert E. Lee and Civil War History and The Iron Brigade: A Military History (IUP, 1994), and editor (with Sharon Eggleston Vipond) of Giants in Their Tall Black Hats: Essays on the Iron Brigade (IUP, 1998).

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