The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color

Lexington Books
Free sample

Whether on the big screen or small, films featuring the American Civil War are among the most classic and controversial in motion picture history. From D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915) to Free State of Jones (2016), the war has provided the setting, ideologies, and character archetypes for cinematic narratives of morality, race, gender, and nation, as well as serving as historical education for a century of Americans.

In The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color, Douglas Brode, Shea T. Brode, and Cynthia J. Miller bring together nineteen essays by a diverse array of scholars across the disciplines to explore these issues. The essays included here span a wide range of films, from the silent era to the present day, including Buster Keaton’s The General (1926), Red Badge of Courage (1951), Glory (1989), Gettysburg (1993), and Cold Mountain (2003), as well as television mini-series The Blue and The Gray (1982) and John Jakes’ acclaimed North and South trilogy (1985-86).

As an accessible volume to dedicated to a critical conversation about the Civil War on film, The American Civil War on Film and TV will appeal to not only to scholars of film, military history, American history, and cultural history, but to fans of war films and period films, as well.
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About the author

Douglas Brode developed and taught courses for several decades at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications until his recent retirement.

Shea T. Brode is an independent scholar who has collaborated with his father as editor on several previous collections.

Cynthia J. Miller is senior faculty at Emerson College's Institute for the Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Lexington Books
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Published on
Oct 5, 2017
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Pages
294
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ISBN
9781498566896
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Media Studies
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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As divisive and destructive as the Civil War was, the era nevertheless demonstrated the power that music could play in American culture. Popular songs roused passion on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, and military bands played music to entertain infantry units-and to rally them on to war. The institution of slavery was debated in songs of the day, ranging from abolitionist anthems to racist minstrel shows. Across the larger cultural backdrop, the growth of music publishing led to a flourishing of urban concert music, while folk music became indelibly linked with American populism. This volume, one of the first in the American History through Music series, presents narrative chapters that recount the many vibrant roles of music during this troubled period of American history. A chapter of biographical entries, a dictionary of Civil War era music, and a subject index offer useful reference tools.

The American History through Music series examines the many different styles of music that have played a significant part in our nation's history. While volumes in this series show the multifaceted roles of music in culture, they also use music as a lens through which readers may study American social history. The authors present in-depth analysis of American musical genres, significant musicians, technological innovations, and the many connections between music and the realms of art, politics, and daily life. Chapters present accessible narratives on music and its cultural resonations, music theory and technique is broken down for the lay reader, and each volume presents a chapter of alphabetically arranged entries on significant people and terms.

A stunning biography of Clara Barton—a woman who determined to serve her country during the Civil War—from acclaimed author Stephen B. Oates.

When the Civil War broke out, Clara Barton wanted more than anything to be a Union soldier, an impossible dream for a thirty-nine-year-old woman, who stood a slender five feet tall. Determined to serve, she became a veritable soldier, a nurse, and a one-woman relief agency operating in the heart of the conflict. Now, award-winning author Stephen B. Oates, drawing on archival materials not used by her previous biographers, has written the first complete account of Clara Barton’s active engagement in the Civil War.

By the summer of 1862, with no institutional affiliation or official government appointment, but impelled by a sense of duty and a need to heal, she made her way to the front lines and the heat of battle. Oates tells the dramatic story of this woman who gave the world a new definition of courage, supplying medical relief to the wounded at some of the most famous battles of the war—including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Battery Wagner, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg. Under fire with only her will as a shield, she worked while ankle deep in gore, in hellish makeshift battlefield hospitals—a bullet-riddled farmhouse, a crumbling mansion, a windblown tent. Committed to healing soldiers’ spirits as well as their bodies, she served not only as nurse and relief worker, but as surrogate mother, sister, wife, or sweetheart to thousands of sick, wounded, and dying men.

Her contribution to the Union was incalculable and unique. It also became the defining event in Barton’s life, giving her the opportunity as a woman to reach out for a new role and to define a new profession. Nursing, regarded as a menial service before the war, became a trained, paid occupation after the conflict. Although Barton went on to become the founder and first president of the Red Cross, the accomplishment for which she is best known, A Woman of Valor convinces us that her experience on the killing fields of the Civil War was her most extraordinary achievement.
As one of the most influential shows of all time, Star Trek continues to engage fans around the world. But its cultural impact has grown far beyond the scope of the original seventy-nine episodes. The show spawned an unprecedented progeny, beginning with Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed by three additional series of space exploration. Film versions featuring Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and other original crew members first appeared in 1979, followed by a number of successful sequels and ultimately a reboot of the original show. From the modest ambitions of the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek gradually transformed into a true franchise, an expanded universe that continues to grow.

In The Star Trek Universe: Franchising the Final Frontier, Douglas and Shea T. Brode have collected several essays that examine the many incarnations that have arisen since the original program concluded its run in 1969. Every aspect of media into which Star Trek has penetrated is covered in this collection: the four television shows, literature, toys, games, and the big screen reboot of the original series featuring the Enterprise and her crew. Essays address a number of elements, particularly how the franchise has had an impact on gaming, fandom, and even technology. Other essays consider how race, gender, and sexuality have been addressed by the various shows and films.

After a half century of boldly exploring topical issues that concern all of humanity, Star Trek warrants serious attention—now more than ever. Looking beyond the entertainment value of its many versions, The Star Trek Universe—a companion volume to Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek—offers provocative essays that will engage scholars of gender studies, race studies, religion, history, and popular culture, not to mention the show’s legions of fans around the planet.

With stakes in film, television, theme parks, and merchandising, Disney continues to be one of the most dominant forces of popular culture around the globe. Films produced by the studio are usually blockbusters in nearly every country where they are released. However, despite their box office success, these films often generate as much disdain as admiration. While appreciated for their visual aesthetics, many of these same films are criticized for their cultural insensitivity or lack of historical fidelity.

In Debating Disney: Pedagogical Perspectives on Commercial Cinema, Douglas Brode and Shea T. Brode have assembled a collection of essays that examine Disney’s output from the 1930s through the present day. Each chapter in this volume represents the conflicting viewpoints of contributors who look at Disney culture from a variety of perspectives. Covering both animated and live-action films as well as television programs, these essays discuss how the studio handles social issues such as race, gender, and culture, as well as its depictions of science and history.

Though some of the essays in this volume are critical of individual films or television shows, they also acknowledge the studio’s capacity to engage audiences with the quality of their work. These essays encourage readers to draw their own conclusions about Disney productions, allowing them to consider the studio as the hero—as much as the villain—in the cultural deliberation. Debating Disney will be of interest to scholars and students of film as well as those with an interest in popular culture.
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