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20ogBook Reviewslig tion of phrases used in the book. These thoughtful inclusions are exceedingly helpful. I have often wished, as a student of history, that I could take "field trips" to the past—smell the air, taste the food, more completely understand the problems and joys of everyday life in days gone by. My students often express the same wish. As nearly as can be, this series gives the young reader the opportunity to take one of these trips into the past. Victoria, TexasDeborah Hardin Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War. By Gary W. Gallagher. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. Pp. 286. Illustrations, notes, index. ISBN 9780807832066, $28.00 cloth.) Anyone who teaches or writes about the history of the Civil War will sooner or later be asked to comment on the way in which some element of the popular media depicts the struggle. When asked such questions, scholars of the era usually point out that these portrayals of die war often tell us more about the audience for which the work is produced than about the society that it attempts to portray. In Causes Won Lost and Forgotten, Gary W. Gallagher, a prominent Civil War historian at the University ofVirginia, has done a great service for those who are curious about media portrayals of the era by explaining the ways in which recent movies and popular art fit into four interpretive traditions that have shaped our understanding of the war. Each of these traditions, which have held sway among discrete audiences in American society, highlights distinct aspects of the war and finds different meaning in the conflict. The Lost Cause tradition, which dominated popular understanding of the war through much of the twentieth century (and still has a hold among many today) , deemphasizes slavery as a cause of the conflict and lifts up a heroic Confederacy that fought bravely against the odds for the right to secede. The Union Cause, which dominated northern understanding of the war but has played a surprisingly small role in subsequent popular interpretations of the war, emphasizes the war as one to save the American republic. The Emancipation Cause, kept alive in the aftermath ofwar by African Americans and embraced by much of the larger American populace after the Civil Rights Era, has focused on the war's role in freeing American slaves. Finally, the Reconciliation Cause, a tradition that has coexisted along with some of the other views of the war, concentrates on the unity and American nationalism produced in the wake of the "brother's war." After introducing these traditions, Gallagher analyzes the way in which they have influenced depictions of the war in Hollywood movies. In his analysis, Gallagher presents examples of the four traditions in film from the earliest depictions of the war like Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind to recent movies such as CoW Mountain and Gods and Generals. In general, he finds that the Lost Cause tradition held sway during the first half of the twentieth century but 120Southwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly declined following the Civil Rights Era when the Emancipationist Cause rose to become the dominant lens through which Hollywood portrayed the war. From his study of film, Gallagher moves on to a study of Civil War popular art, much of which is advertised in various Civil War magazines and journals. In this exploration, Gallagher finds that the Lost Cause lives on to a much greater degree in commercial art than in popular film. Images of a romanticized Confederacy dominate the sales of Civil War paintings. Gallagher explains this divergence from film by noting that, while many in American society have challenged the Lost Cause view of the war and made it less palatable to lift up this position in public, those who cling to this position often turn to private expressions of the ideology like displaying Confederate images in their homes. Gallagher's book is a useful entry in the burgeoning literature diat deals with the way in which the Civil War is remembered by Americans. It is particularly revelatory in its consideration of the Lost Cause view...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 119-120
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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