Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CWL---Just Published: Medicine, Family and Homefront

Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History, Gordon E. Dammann and Alfred Jay Bollet, Paperback, heavily illustrated with b/w photogrpahs, 192 pages, Demos Medical Publishing, $34.95.

From the Publisher: Dr. Alfred Bollet’s Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs won wide acclaim as an expert study. Now, in collaboration with Dr. Gordon Dammann, Dr. Bollet has taken his expertise one step further and pictorially illuminated this fascinating chapter in medical history. Featuring 250 rare archival photographs, Images of Civil War Medicine is a comprehensive visual encyclopedia of medical care during a seminal event in American history. The book showcases the uniforms, equipment, and members of a large group of individual Civil War doctors — “Cartes de Visites” — along with resonant images of existing pre-war structures used to heal the sick. Also here are prominent medical educators, hospitals, stewards, and ambulances,as well as images of surgery, dentistry, nursing, and embalming. Ideal for Civil War buffs, historians, and medical history enthusiasts, Images of Civil War Medicine gives a complete overview of this era's medical realities.

Why the Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia, Aaron Sheehan-Dean hardcover, 312 pages, The University of North Carolina Press, $34.95.

From the publisher
In the first comprehensive study of the experience of Virginia soldiers and their families in the Civil War, Aaron Sheehan-Dean captures the inner world of the rank-and-file. He challenges earlier arguments that middle- and lower-class southerners gradually withdrew their support for the Confederacy because their class interests were not being met. Instead he argues that Virginia soldiers continued to be motivated by the profound emotional connection between military service and the protection of home and family, even as the war dragged on. Aaron Sheehan-Dean is assistant professor of history at the University of North Florida. He is editor of Struggle for a Vast Future: The American Civil War and The View from the Ground: The Experience of Civil War Soldiers.

The Civil War and the Limits of DestructionMark E., Jr. Neely, Harvard University Press, 288 pp., hardcover, $27.95.

From the Publisher
In a perceptive and rigorously argued call to resist the temptation to describe the Civil War as an unusually destructive or brutal war, Mark Neely finds new ways to examine old questions and to challenge prevailing interpretations. This is another first-rate work from one of the best and most imaginative scholars working in the field of Civil War history. --Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Confederate War

Neely tackles a fascinating and important topic: were terror and brutality a key part of the Civil War? He makes a compelling case that the combat was more controlled than we now often accept. His account is original­-in some cases clearly pathbreaking­-and his tone passionate and gripping. This is a major contribution that will capture a wide readership. --Ari Kelman, author of A River and Its City

The Civil War is often portrayed as the most brutal war in America's history, a premonition of twentieth-century slaughter and carnage. In challenging this view, Mark E. Neely, Jr., considers the war's destructiveness in a comparative context, revealing the sense of limits that guided the conduct of American soldiers and statesmen.

Neely begins by contrasting Civil War behavior with U.S. soldiers' experiences in the Mexican War of 1846. He examines Price's Raid in Missouri for evidence of deterioration in the restraints imposed by the customs of war; and in a brilliant analysis of Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign, he shows that the actions of U.S. cavalrymen were selective and controlled. The Mexican war of the 1860s between French imperial forces and republicans provided a new yardstick for brutality: Emperor Maximilian's infamous Black Decree threatened captured enemies with execution. Civil War battles, however, paled in comparison with the unrestrained warfare waged against the Plains Indians. Racial beliefs, Neely shows, were a major determinant of wartime behavior.

Destructive rhetoric was rampant in the congressional debate over the resolution to avenge the treatment of Union captives at Andersonville by deliberately starving and freezing to death Confederate prisoners of war. Nevertheless, to gauge the events of the war by the ferocity of its language of political hatred is a mistake, Neely argues. The modern overemphasis on violence in Civil War literature has led many scholars to go too far in drawing close analogies with the twentieth century's "total war" and the grim guerrilla struggles of Vietnam.

1 comment:

Fon said...

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