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Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South by Erin Stewart Mauldin (review)

Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South by... of Mind has as much to say about alcoholism, substance abuse, postpar- tum depression, and psychiatric confinement in this era as it does about pistols and poison. A book with as much going on between its covers as this one can’t do everything, however. This reader yearned for a little less evidence and a little more analysis and, more specifically, for a clearer explanation as to why the chapter on the suicidal behavior of African Americans before emancipation focuses almost exclusively on the antebellum era, treating the Civil War years themselves in little more than a paragraph. In addition, because Somerville is so often in broad agreement with the new generation of historians whose work she cites in the text, it is not always clear where and how this obviously important new book disrupts the historiography it seeks to join. These modest reservations aside, Aberration of Mind suc- ceeds in providing a wealth of sobering new evidence about the suffering unleashed by the American Civil War and, just as important, offers readers a robust and unvarnished new account of the southern home front. Richard Bell richard bell, associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, is the author http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South by Erin Stewart Mauldin (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 10 (1) – Mar 2, 2020

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

of Mind has as much to say about alcoholism, substance abuse, postpar- tum depression, and psychiatric confinement in this era as it does about pistols and poison. A book with as much going on between its covers as this one can’t do everything, however. This reader yearned for a little less evidence and a little more analysis and, more specifically, for a clearer explanation as to why the chapter on the suicidal behavior of African Americans before emancipation focuses almost exclusively on the antebellum era, treating the Civil War years themselves in little more than a paragraph. In addition, because Somerville is so often in broad agreement with the new generation of historians whose work she cites in the text, it is not always clear where and how this obviously important new book disrupts the historiography it seeks to join. These modest reservations aside, Aberration of Mind suc- ceeds in providing a wealth of sobering new evidence about the suffering unleashed by the American Civil War and, just as important, offers readers a robust and unvarnished new account of the southern home front. Richard Bell richard bell, associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, is the author

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 2, 2020

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