Buying and Selling Civil War Memory in Gilded Age America

Title Details

Pages: 286

Illustrations: 31 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Hardcover

Pub Date: 07/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5966-3

List Price: $114.95

Paperback

Pub Date: 07/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5965-6

List Price: $36.95

Buying and Selling Civil War Memory in Gilded Age America

What can consumerism and material culture teach us about how ordinary Americans remembered their Civil War?

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Buying and Selling Civil War Memory explores the ways in which Gilded Age manufacturers, advertisers, publishers, and others commercialized Civil War memory. Advertisers used images of the war to sell everything from cigarettes to sewing machines; an entire industry grew up around uniforms made for veterans rather than soldiers; publishing houses built subscription bases by tapping into wartime loyalties; while old and young alike found endless sources of entertainment that harkened back to the war.

Moving beyond the discussions of how Civil War memory shaped politics and race relations, the essays assembled by James Marten and Caroline E. Janney provide a new framework for examining the intersections of material culture, consumerism, and contested memory in the everyday lives of late nineteenth-century Americans.

Each essay offers a case study of a product, experience, or idea related to how the Civil War was remembered and memorialized. Taken together, these essays trace the ways the buying and selling of the Civil War shaped Americans’ thinking about the conflict, making an important contribution to scholarship on Civil War memory and extending our understanding of subjects as varied as print, visual, and popular culture; finance; and the histories of education, of the book, and of capitalism in this period. This highly teachable volume presents an exciting intellectual fusion by bringing the subfield of memory studies into conversation with the literature on material culture.

The volume’s contributors include Amanda Brickell Bellows, Crompton B. Burton, Kevin R. Caprice, Shae Smith Cox, Barbara A. Gannon, Edward John Harcourt, Anna Gibson Holloway, Jonathan S. Jones, Margaret Fairgrieve Milanick, John Neff , Paul Ringel, Natalie Sweet, David K. Thomson, and Jonathan W. White.

Assembling essays from seasoned scholars and early career historians alike, this well-conceived volume demonstrates the yet untapped potential of memory studies to reveal new insights about the Civil War’s long shadow. Borrowing approaches from material culture studies and histories of consumer culture, Buying & Selling Civil War Memory reveals how the war, in ways big and small, continued to annex ordinary lives at century's end.

—Brian Matthew Jordan, The Civil War Monitor

This intriguing volume reveals how the words and images of war became a 'common currency' that shaped advertising campaigns, imparted new meaning to mundane objects, and shaped the professionalization of marketing and business during an era of unprecedented economic growth.

—Matthew E. Stanley, The Journal of Southern History

Individually, the book’s fifteen chapters are interesting and make important points about how we remember our national bloodletting. Taken together, though, they simultaneously illuminate how the war really did engross virtually every facet of American life for decades after Appomattox.

—Matthew Christopher Hulbert, The North Carolina Historical Review

Amanda Brickell Bellows

Crompton Burton

Kevin Caprice

Shae Smith Cox

Barbara Gannon

Edward Harcourt

Anna Gibson Holloway

Caroline E. Janney

Jonathan Jones

Margaret Milanick

James Marten

John Neff

Paul Ringel

David Thomson

Natalie Sweet

Jonathan W. White