Tag Archives: History-vs-Art

A Cat Man: Mr. Lincoln

There are times when research seems repetitive. Battles, generals, troop movements, the effects of one thing upon another, and on and on. It is an endless stream, and once one dips one’s toes in it, either you want to do … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Personalities, Photography, Politics, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Does the American Civil War Need a Theme Song?

Like so many, I have been captivated by the mournfully lovely tune “Ashokan Farewell.” I am sure most of us first heard it when we were watching Ken Burns’s The Civil War, and wondered about it. I knew I had … Continue reading

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Not Your Average Lincoln Movie: Saving Lincoln

Anyone who has read a post or a blog by me knows that I am a serious fan of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and Ward Hill Lamon, both good friends of Abraham Lincoln. I love those guys, and I write about … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Civil War Events, Civilian, Internet, Websites & Blogs, Personalities, Photography, Ties to the War, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Lincoln brilliantly captures the icon’s humanity

One of the things I’ve found most remarkable about the Civil War is the physical change that overcame President Lincoln during his time in office. The distinguished, thoughtful lawyer from Illinois who first arrived in Washington wasted away over four … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: Fictions and Histories

Final part of a series “[H]istory and historical fiction,” says historian Paul Ashdown, “are alternate ways of telling stories about the past.”[1] In that context, Ulysses S. Grant spoke more truth than he realized when he said “Wars produce many … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: Fictions told until they are believed to be true

Part nine in a series “Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true,” Ulysses S. Grant said in his Personal Memoirs.[1] Grant was specifically referring to a fiction “based on … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Marking Art: “Story is a central component of ‘history'”

Part eight in a series The ability to evoke emotion easily stands out as The Civil War’s greatest strength: From its opening shot of a canon silhouetted against a fire-orange sky and the use of the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: Communicating “the incommunicable experience of war”

Part seven in a series “We have shared the incommunicable experience of war,” Oliver Wendell Holmes says at the beginning of Ken Burns’ documentary The Civil War. Burns could not have picked a more appropriate quote to start his film … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: The Civil War’s great storyteller

Part six in a series. No written work embodies the tension between art and history more fully than Shelby Foote’s mammoth three-volume The Civil War: A Narrative. Few people realize Foote was a novelist before he became the “warm and … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: Killer Angels, real and fictional

Part five in a series. In my last post, I began to discuss Michael Shaara’s aesthetic choices for constructing The Killer Angels as he did, and how he adopted a Lost Cause-interpretation of Robert E. Lee as a central choice … Continue reading

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