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Nina Silber
Trustees of Boston University (Boston, MA 02215-1300)
The Civil War in American Life, 1929-1941

Drawing on scholarship that examines historical memory, this project considers the way Americans worked to reconstruct a narrative about their Civil War past in the midst of the worst economic crisis in the nation's history. Indeed, the Civil War was invoked, remembered, and depicted in a remarkable number of ways in this decade, clearly suggesting that it was an event that resonated strongly in this moment of social upheaval. It could be heard in the powerful language of workers who wrote about their sense of economic enslavement and desperation; in the frequent re-imagining of Abraham Lincoln--by writers, FDR, as well as African American activists--as a plain, homespun president and tireless advocate for civil rights; in seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations of such events as the Battle of Gettysburg and the Emancipation Proclamation; or in the reconstruction analogies, especially as they were invoked by southern politicians to express their new demands for "home rule".

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 8/31/2011