From Battlefields Rising: How The Civil War Transformed American Literature

Paperback | January 28, 2014

byRandall Fuller

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When Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in April of 1861, Walt Whitman declared it "the volcanic upheaval of the nation" - the bloody inception of a war that would dramatically alter the shape and character of American culture along with its political, racial, and social landscape. Priorto the war, America's leading writers had been integral to helping the young nation imagine itself, assert its beliefs, and realize its immense potential. When the Civil War erupted, it forced them to witness not only unimaginable human carnage on the battlefield, but also the disintegration of thefoundational symbolic order they had helped to create. The war demanded new frameworks for understanding the world and new forms of communication that could engage with the immensity of the conflict. It fostered both social and cultural experimentation. Now available in paperback, From Battlefields Rising explores the profound impact of the war on writers including Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, and Frederick Douglass. As the writers of the time grappled with the war's impact on theindividual and the national psyche, their responses multiplied and transmuted. Whitman's poetry and prose, for example, was chastened and deepened by his years spent ministering to wounded soldiers; off the battlefield, the anguish of war would come to suffuse the austere, elliptical poems thatEmily Dickinson was writing from afar; and Hawthorne was rendered silent by his reading of military reports and talks with soldiers. Calling into question every prior presumption and ideal, the war forever changed America's early idealism-and consequently its literature-into something far moreambivalent and raw. An absorbing group portrait of the period's most important writers, From Battlefields Rising flashes with forgotten historical details and elegant new ideas. It alters previous perceptions about the evolution of American literature and how Americans have understood and expressed their commonhistory.

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When Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in April of 1861, Walt Whitman declared it "the volcanic upheaval of the nation" - the bloody inception of a war that would dramatically alter the shape and character of American culture along with its political, racial, and social landscape. Priorto the war, America's leading writers had be...

Randall Fuller is the Chapman Professor of English at the University of Tulsa.

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Hardcover|Jan 24 2017

$32.52 online$36.00list price(save 9%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 28, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199360715

ISBN - 13:9780199360710

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Emerson's Dream1. Beat! Beat! Drums2. Concord3. Shiloh4. Telling it Slant5. Port Royal6. Fathers and Sons7. Phantom Limbs8. The Man without a Country9. In a Gloomy WoodEpilogue. HeavenEnd Notes

Editorial Reviews

"This is a beautiful, powerful book, uniting the pivotal event of American history with the defining literature of the nation. Fuller's account is filled with humanity, eloquence, and surprise. Anyone who reads this book will see both the Civil War and America's iconic authors with new eyes." --Edward Ayers, author of In The Presence of Mine Enemies