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Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note For a while now, historians interested in learning about the lives of ordinary people have employed more than the demographics and regression analysis that typified the early method of social history. Today, historians often turn to cultural analysis to search for the mentalities of their subjects. Uncovering popular opinion among nineteenth-century Americans remains a challenging task even during a conflict that featured a great outpouring of literary sources through diaries, journals, and letters between soldiers and their families. As rich as they are, these sources still privilege the middle and upper classes. Examining various aspects of culture has given historians additional ways to suggest the values of a broader range of people. The three research articles in this month's issue feature different ways to bring cultural discussion to the forefront. Jon Grinspan leads off with an engaging exploration of popular comedy during the Civil War. He adds a new dimension to how Americans coped with the grisly casualties and the difficult situations that they faced. Prior works tend to favor casting Americans as steeped in sentimentalism, which is true; however, they did not avoid humor as Grinspan reveals that "no subject was too solemn for America's comedians." Next, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807
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Abstract

For a while now, historians interested in learning about the lives of ordinary people have employed more than the demographics and regression analysis that typified the early method of social history. Today, historians often turn to cultural analysis to search for the mentalities of their subjects. Uncovering popular opinion among nineteenth-century Americans remains a challenging task even during a conflict that featured a great outpouring of literary sources through diaries, journals, and letters between soldiers and their families. As rich as they are, these sources still privilege the middle and upper classes. Examining various aspects of culture has given historians additional ways to suggest the values of a broader range of people. The three research articles in this month's issue feature different ways to bring cultural discussion to the forefront. Jon Grinspan leads off with an engaging exploration of popular comedy during the Civil War. He adds a new dimension to how Americans coped with the grisly casualties and the difficult situations that they faced. Prior works tend to favor casting Americans as steeped in sentimentalism, which is true; however, they did not avoid humor as Grinspan reveals that "no subject was too solemn for America's comedians." Next,

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 12, 2011

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