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Monday, March 7, 2016


Published in 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers

The Civil War was, in many ways, the world's first modern war. The submarine was invented, the machine gun was introduced, aerial reconnaissance was used and metal warships ruled the seas. It was also a war that featured all aspects of the media of the day. Propaganda songs like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" were written, speeches were given all over the country, those same speeches were re-read in newspapers. Those newspapers were openly partisan on every issue of the day. And, one of the best ways to express these partisan opinions was political cartoons.

This book is filled with political cartoons describing the issues that brought on the war, cartoons inspired by the people and fighting in the war and a light discussion of the end of the war. Almost all of the cartoons are excellent and they provide a jumping off point for discussion of the events as they are portrayed in chronological order. 

Below is a cartoon from the book (p. 140):

The cartoon shows the dangers of the "Copperheads" - Northerners who actively opposed the war. Some just spoke against it, some politically worked against it and a very few acted as home grown terrorists.

I am a Civil War buff and I have seen many of these cartoons in other books, but that did not stop me from from enjoying this focused look at them.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Lines of Contention.

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