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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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.

When it premiered on NBC in September 1966, Star Trek was described by its creator, Gene Roddenberry, as “Wagon Train to the stars.” Featuring a racially diverse cast, trips to exotic planets, and encounters with an array of alien beings who could be either friendly or hostile, the program opened up new vistas for television. Along with The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, Star Trek represented one of the small screen’s rare ventures into science fiction during the 1960s. Although the original series was a modest success during its three-year run, its afterlife has been nothing less than a cultural phenomenon. To celebrate the show’s debut fifty years later, it’s time to reexamine one of the most influential programs in history.

In Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: The Original Cast Adventures, Douglas and Shea T. Brode present a collection of essays about the series and its various incarnations over the years. Contributors discuss not only the 1960s show but also its off-shoots, ranging from novels and graphic novels to toys and video games, as well as the films featuring Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. Essays address the show’s religious implications, romantic elements, and its role in the globalization of American culture. Other essays draw parallels between the series and the Vietnam War, compare Star Trek II to Milton’s Paradise Lost, posit Roddenberry as an auteur, and consider William Shatner as a romantic object.

With its far-reaching and provocative essays, this collection offers new insights into one of the most significant shows ever produced. Besides television and film studies, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek—a companion volume to The Star Trek Universe—will be of interest to scholars of religion, history, gender studies, queer studies, and popular culture, not to mention the show’s legions of fans.
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