[UCP Books]: Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North

“‘The present is a year productive of strange and surprising events,’ a newspaper editorialist wrote on July 4, 1861. ‘It is one prolific of revolution and abounding in great and startling novelties. . . . We are entering, to say the least, upon a new and important epoch in the history of the world.’ Today, when we look at Civil War images across the gulf of a century and a half, it is clear that those war years would prove to be an era not just of revolution, but also of revelation: the passing of timeworn realities and the intimation of things to come.”

From the foreword by Adam Goodheart, author of 1861

Daily Life in the Civil War North
by Peter John Brownlee, Sarah Burns, Diane Dillon, Daniel Greene, and Scott Manning Stevens


Publication date: October 22, 2013 978-0-226-06185-6
International publication date: October 22, 2013 $35.00/£24.50

More than 150 years after Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, the Civil War still occupies a prominent place in the national collective memory. Paintings and photographs, plays and movies, novels, poetry, and songs portray the war as a battle over the future of slavery, conjuring up brutal images of desolate landscapes strewn with war dead. Yet the frontlines were not the only landscapes of the war. Countless civilians saw their daily lives upended while the entire nation suffered.

Home Front reveals this side of the war as it happened, comprehensively examining the visual culture of the Northern home front. Through contributions from leading scholars from across the humanities, we discover how the war influenced household economies and the cotton economy; how the absence of young men from the home changed daily life; how war relief work linked home fronts and battle fronts; why Indians on the frontier were pushed out of the riven nation’s consciousness during the war years; and how wartime landscape paintings illuminated the nation’s past, present, and future. A companion volume to a collaborative exhibition organized by the Newberry Library and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Home Front is the first book to expose the visual culture of a world far removed from the horror of war yet intimately bound to it.
Peter John Brownlee is associate curator at the Terra Foundation for American Art. Sarah Burns is professor of art history emeritus, Indiana University, Bloomington. Diane Dillon is director of scholarly and undergraduate programs at the Newberry Library. Daniel Greene is vice president for research and academic programs at the Newberry Library. Scott Manning Stevens is director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library.
Please contact Levi Stahl at (773) 702-0289 or lstahl@press.uchicago.edu for more information.


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