Tag: films

When John Brooke Came Marching Home Again, Hurrah?

When John Brooke Came Marching Home Again, Hurrah?

“When John got out his books that night, Meg's heart sank, and for the first time in her married life, she was afraid of her husband.”[1] Judy Giesberg recently reminded Muster readers how much the Civil War shrouds Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, in print and on screen. The ...
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Castles in the Air: A Review of Greta Gerwig’s <i>Little Women</i>

Castles in the Air: A Review of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women

Impatient for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women to come out, I watched the 1994 movie again to bide my time. Susan Sarandon (Marmee) and Winona Ryder (Jo) steal the show, delivering the movie’s most memorable lines critiquing Victorian gender expectations, such as when Marmee dismisses a neighbor’s concerns about her daughters’ ...
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Poetry Not Yet Written: Revisiting Glory Thirty Years Later

Poetry Not Yet Written: Revisiting Glory Thirty Years Later

Glory begins as so many Civil War films do: the sun rises on a vast battlefield, brave Union men march into war, and a ferocious battle ensues, American and Confederate flags billowing in the background. Despite its adherence to well-worn tropes, however, Glory tells a tale that is often obscured ...
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Utilizing Film in Our Courses on Slavery and the Enslaved

Utilizing Film in Our Courses on Slavery and the Enslaved

Teaching the history of slavery in the United States well, like teaching any complex topic mired in historical mythologies and mixed public interests, is a daunting task. Pedagogical approaches to slavery have to face off against centuries of public misconceptions and avoidance. I constantly try to engage and inform students ...
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Editor’s Note: September 2018 Issue

The September issue of The Journal of the Civil War Era will soon be arriving in your mailboxes. For a preview of the excellent work within its pages, see our editor's note reprinted below. This volume combines exciting new work in the military history of the Civil War with essays ...
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Outrageous Inaccuracies: The Grand Army of the Republic Protests <em>The Birth of a Nation</em>

Outrageous Inaccuracies: The Grand Army of the Republic Protests The Birth of a Nation

When the motion picture film The Birth of a Nation was released in 1915, most veterans of the American Civil War were in their seventies and eighties. Membership in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—the largest fraternal organization of Union veterans in the country—had declined by that time to ...
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aaihs

Mass Incarceration And Its Mystification: A Review Of The 13th

This article was originally published by The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) and is reprinted here with permission. Although some of the material falls outside the temporal boundaries of this blog, we believe our readers will find it to be a valuable review, due to its connections to the Civil War. ...
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Matthew McConaughey stars in The Free State of Jones

Right and Wrong in “The Free State of Jones”: Making Sense of the Civil War Film Tradition

No one quite knows what to make of “The Free State of Jones,” the latest big-budget feature film about the history of the Civil War. Some have praised it as the “final word on racism’s vicious legacy” while others have lambasted it for engaging in “the passive violence of distortion.” ...
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At a meeting of the Union League, Moses (Mahershala Ali) and Newt (Matthew McConaughey) tell the Freedman that all citizens shall have the right to vote.

Aiming for Accuracy: Free State of Jones, Contingency, and the Meaning of Freedom

Early in Free State of Jones a Confederate soldier proclaims he is not fighting for slavery but rather “for honor.” His comrades, including poor Mississippi farmer Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), needle him. Considering the "Twenty Negro Law,” Conscription Act, and tax-in-kind law, they point out that their blood only helps ...
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Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Civil War Era

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Civil War Era

As scholarship on the Civil War era expands, Hollywood, too, has cast a wider gaze at the conflict and its roots. This year, with movies like “Free State of Jones” and “Birth of a Nation,” filmmakers continue to explore the struggles beyond the battlefield but still central to the war ...
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Hateful Eight 3

Hateful and Forgetful: Tarantino’s Latest Chooses Gore over Racial Commentary

Is Minnie's Haberdashery, the one room stagecoach stop in which all but a few scenes of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight take place, the director's version of hell? If so, hell is a cold place of contradictions, unexpected alliances, violence, vulgarity, and truly bad coffee. Stuck in Wyoming blizzard with ...
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