The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film

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9780375409189: The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film
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More movies have been produced about the Civil War than about any other aspect of American history. From 1903 (Uncle Tom's Cabin) to the present, film studios have released more than eight hundred silent and sound pictures about the nation's most cataclysmic event. In this study, Bruce Chadwick first shows us how historians, journalists, playwrights, poets and novelists of the late nineteenth century - partly as an effort to reconcile former antagonists - rewrote the war's history to create enduring legends, most of which had no basis in reality. Early silent films followed their example, presenting egregiously distorted - and anti-black - stories about the war, which viewers accepted as truth.

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Review:

"Chadwick's dissection of the myths [these movies] helped to foster is superb. . . . [An] enlightening volume." --The New York Times Book Review

"[A] fine book. . . . Sure to fascinate lovers of both the Civil War and the big screen." --The Washington Times

"Chadwick ...brings to this effort a comfortable knowledge of American history and extensive research on the many hundreds of Civil War films and their creation."-Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:

Bruce Chadwick lectures on history and film at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He also teaches writing at New Jersey City University.

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9780375708329: The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film

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ISBN 10:  0375708324 ISBN 13:  9780375708329
Publisher: Vintage, 2002
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