The political turmoil of the Civil War Era has been analyzed many times, but one area of this period's history is often overlooked: a large body of humorous, clever, and scathing editorial cartoons from publications such as Harper's Weekly, Vanity Fair, Punch, and Leslie's Illustrated.
In Lines of Contention, the best of these cartoons has finally been collected into one place to illuminate the social, political, and cultural climate of Civil War—Era America. The cartoons have been pulled from both sides of the fence and provide insight into the incidents and opinions surrounding the war as well as the mind-sets and actions of all the major figures. Lines of Contention presents a unique history of the Civil War and its participants.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A fascinating look at the era from just prior to the Civil War to just after the death of Abe Lincoln through the eyes of some of the best political cartoons of the day. I found it an easy and revealing read. The book separates the era into six chapters. Generally in chronological order. One page reprints the original cartoon which you view and read. The ajoining page has a revealing, historical explanation crammed with backround trivia and exposes the importance of each hidden symbol and referenced person in view. I can't emphasize how wonderful I thought think this concept is in teaching the Civil War to anyone that wants a overview in quick concise terms that they'll never forget. I recommend it for classrooms both high school and college to get discussions started as some of the cartoons would never be printable by today's standards of the censored liberal press. It is a very revealing book about how Lincoln was viewed at the time. It shows he was not thought of in the...
Jim Lewin and P.J. Huff have collaborated in the past on other works, but this may be their best effort to date. In this new book from Collins (ISBN 006113788X), they take a fresh look at the political turmoil of the Civil War through the eyes of the satirists and political cartoonists of the era, drawing heavily upon contemporary sketches, woodcuts, and drawings from a myriad host of political commentators of the era. They reproduce scores of old cartoons from the pages of such once famous publications as Vanity Fair, Harper's Weekly, and Leslie's Illustrated. As would be expected (and similar to today's political satirists), a large number of the illustrations deal with President Lincoln and his war policies, with few cartoonists in support of his goals and philosophies. They poke fun of his appearance, his leadership, and his course of action, much like modern cartoonists rip the current president and other leading politicians of both parties.
The Civil War was, in many ways, the world's first modern war. The submarine was invented, the machine gun was introduced, aerial reconnaissance was used and metal warships ruled the seas. It was also a war that featured all aspects of the media of the day. Propaganda songs like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" were written, speeches were given all over the country, those same speeches were re-read in newspapers. Those newspapers were openly partisan on every issue of the day. And, one of the best ways to express these partisan opinions was political cartoons.
This book is filled with political cartoons describing the issues that brought on the war, cartoons inspired by the people and fighting in the war and a light discussion of the end of the war. Almost all of the cartoons are excellent and they provide a jumping off point for discussion of the events as they are portrayed in chronological order...
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