Review by Choice Review
Offering a microhistory of the US Civil War, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves examines the creation, iconography, narrative, and meaning of statuary depicting soldiers and enslaved persons--a monument genre that invaded US public spaces of the 19th century. This new edition offers the entirety of the first edition (1997) and a new preface by Savage (Univ. of Pittsburgh). Another modification is the cover image: the new edition features Antonin Mercié's Lee Monument in Richmond (1890), the first equestrian statue of any Confederate erected anywhere in the US, as a counter to the previous edition's cover choice, Thomas Ball's Freedman's Memorial (1876), depicting Lincoln and a kneeling slave. Interestingly, however, the new cover shows the Lee Monument draped by a large cloth, as part of the sculpture's protection prior to installation. The act of covering a monument persists in the 21st century, when sculptures have been shrouded as acts of protest, resistance, and the reconstruction of history today. This edition introduces a new generation to Savage's seminal study, but though the study is required reading for anyone studying the Civil War, race, monuments, commemoration, or collective memory, those who own the first edition need not acquire this one. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. --Juilee Decker, Rochester Institute of Technology
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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