Kentucky Historical Society
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Interest in Civil War memory and post–Civil War sectional reconciliation has expanded greatly in recent years, as two 2016 historiographical essays attest.1 Matthew E. Stanley's new book, The Loyal West: Civil War and Reunion in Middle America is thus well timed to make an important contribution to our evolving understanding of the process of sectional reconciliation in the decades following the Civil War. With his focus on Kentucky's northern neighbors in the lower portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, the editorial staff of the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society believe Stanley's book will help historians better understand the role Kentucky played in the events of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, which saw a white supremacist version of Civil War memory eclipse an emancipationist version nationally.
We have asked four nineteenth-century historians to consider Stanley's book from varying perspectives. M. Keith Harris teaches history at a private high school in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of Across the Bloody Chasm: The Culture of Commemoration among Civil War Veterans (2014) and is currently writing a book on D. W. Griffith's controversial 1915 silent film, The Birth of a Nation. Anne E. Marshall is an associate professor of history at Mississippi State University and the author of Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State (2012). James Marten is professor and chair of the history department at Marquette University. His most recent books are Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America (2011) and America's Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace (2014). Kristopher Maulden is a visiting assistant professor of history at Columbia College in Missouri. He is completing a book manuscript on the influence of Federalist politics and federal policy in the Ohio River Valley, and he is engaged in a study of nineteenth-century Ohio newspaper editor Charles Hammond. Finally, the author of The Loyal West, Matthew E. Stanley, assistant professor of history at Albany State University, will respond to the reviews.
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