The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

How many books were being written, and published, on the Civil War?

There were so many that one could not keep track. Some were sweeping narratives, attempting to relate the war in all its complexity, while others concentrated on a month, a week, sometimes even a day, in the war. The Lincoln bibliography grew to such proportions that he became the second-most discussed person in human history, second only to Jesus Christ.

Academics, popular historians, and journalists all had a field day with the Civil War in the early part of the twenty-first century, each group attempting to claim a piece of the turf. There was no single person who “spoke” for and about the Civil War in the way that Bruce Catton had in the 1960s. But if there was one person listened to more than any other, it was probably David W. Blight, a distinguished professor of history who won numerous grants and wrote numerous books, most of them to do with the Civil War and its place in the national story.


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