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The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Was the Confederacy doomed from the start in its struggle against the superior might of the Union? Did its forces fight heroically against all odds for the cause of states' rights? In reality, these suggestions are an elaborate and intentional effort on the part of Southerners to rationalize the secession and the war itself. Unfortunately, skillful propagandists have been ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Indiana University Press (first published January 1st 2000)
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Sean Chick
Aug 12, 2011 Sean Chick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some essays are good, others are quite awful, espcially Nolan's pitiful contribution that betrays his hatred of almost all things Southern. What the books fails to do is explain the attraction, growth, and ramifications of Lost Cause mythology. I also get the feeling that the abolitionist myth is the basis of this work. Since I don't like either myth my feelings on this book are ambivalent.
This is a book edited by University of Virginia Professor of Civil War History, Gary W. Gallagher. The "Lost Cause" is a phrase used to describe how some describe the Civil War from a decidedly biased viewpoint from the Confederate point of view and how it has worked it's way into a popular way of defending the southern states during the war. Many of the key belief's are(although not limited to): 1. Slavery had little or nothing to do with the conflict. Common saying is it was about "states righ ...more
Tim Williams
3.5 stars. Some essays are strong and beautifully written, particularly Pete Carmichael and Lesley Gordon's essays. The latter was my favorite because I didn't know anything about the Lost Cause author LaSalle Cobrell Pickett, who basically wrote counterfactual histories and stories that even northerners reviewed positively.Gordon, then, like many authors in the collection show that the North played an important role in Codifying Lost Cause histories of secession, war, leadership, etc., that rem ...more
May 03, 2016 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, own
As many other books, this is EDITED by Gary Gallagher. He's great at writing overviews and editing, but this is 10 essays on various aspects of the Lost Cause, and some of the chapters hit home way better than others.

I found two parts of it to be terrific -- Gallagher's introduction, and his chapter on Jubal Early. Also strong were Brooks Simpson's chapter on Grant, and Jeffrey D. Wert's chapter on Longstreet.

The other six chapters were fine for browsing through. The point of the book is made ve
Tom Darrow
Dec 03, 2015 Tom Darrow rated it really liked it
I read this book at the end of a grad school class on the Civil War and I wish the professor had assigned it earlier in the semester.

This book is a collection of 9 essays that explore the Lost Cause movement and its impact on the creation of collective memory and the history of the Civil War. Like most edited collections of essays, it has it's strong and weak contributors, but taken together, I thought it was a very well organized and insightful book.

The essays are generally broken down into thr
A series of essays debunking the myth of the "Lost Cause," how it was perpetuated by both North and South, and how and why it influences thinking about the Civil War into the 21st Century.

A bit tedious at times, and some of the essays are contradictory, but enlightening information about the big names of the war. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're either a history buff or have a specific interest in the Civil War, unromanticized.
Dec 07, 2015 Jack rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My Great Grandfather talked extensively about the War Between the Blue and Grey and as a youngster I became obsessed with the calamity. My Great Grandfather understood that the industrialization of the North along with the financing coming from the South into the Northern institutions created the problems from which we are still suffering.
The author successfully dispels some misconceptions perceived as fact from this war but did so by so blatantly creating his own creation of the statistics of t
Jj Kwashnak
Feb 05, 2011 Jj Kwashnak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war, history
Good essays looking at how our memory of the Civil War was formed, and controlled, by a handful of people in the ante-bellum period.
Christopher J.j.
Feb 27, 2015 Christopher J.j. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Finally,a book that destroys the myth. ...more
Josh Liller
This is a collection of nine essays relating to The Lost Cause.

Topics covered:
-summary of The Lost Cause myth vs history
-Jubal Early
-Wade Hampton & South Carolina
-Confederate Army Reunions in Georgia
-The New South in Virginia
-James Longstreet
-U.S. Grant
-LaSalle Corbell Pickett
-Lost Cause Religion

I thought the best essays were those about Early, Longstreet, and Grant. The Pickett essay was interesting, but could have used a little more information about how far LaSalle's romanticized claims w
Colleen Browne
Aug 22, 2015 Colleen Browne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, a series of essays about the Lost Cause myth, is an excellent synopsis of the myriad of components that make it up. A good book for the historian, or just the casual history reader; it is well written, short, and interesting.
Mar 01, 2016 Hunter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real mixed bag of quality with regards to the essays. Some are quite good, some totally forgettable.
The essays in this provide a good introduction to the topic and to the specific angles, which was helpful for me, but because the book doesn't go into very great depth on the topic, I'm now looking forward to other books that do.
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Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia, is the author or editor of many books in the field of Civil War history, including The Confederate War; Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War; and The Union War.

More about Gary W. Gallagher...

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