Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War
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Regarded by many critics as Edmund Wilson's greatest book, Patriotic Gore brilliantly portrays the vast political, spiritual, and material crisis of the Civil War as reflected in the lives and writings of some thirty representative Americans.
Critical/biographical portraits of such notable figures as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ambrose Bierce, Mary Chesnut, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Oliver Wendell Holmes prove Wilson to be the consummate witness to the most eloquently recorded era in American history.
impulse finding vent in a waking fantasy. What is most unexpected is that, the farther one reads in Uncle Tom, the more one becomes aware that a critical mind is at work, which has the complex situation in a very firm grip and which, no matter how vehement the characters become, is controlling and coordinating their interrelations. Though there is much that is exciting in Uncle Tom,'s Cabin, it is never the crude melodrama of the decadent phase of the play; and though we find some old-fashioned
feel no particular choice about it. If God wills I go, He can easily find means. Money, I suppose, is as plenty with Him now as it always has been, and if He sees it is really best, He will doubtless help me." It was a very hard summer for both of them. Calvin, who was supposed to be raising money for the Seminary, stayed away till the beginning of October. He detested this monev-raisino, for which he was entirely unfitted. , b "This work," he writes Harriet on June 30, "is beyond measure irksome
them all up in one wabble, and squashing them on the table like an old hen with her guts and gizzard squashed out." But the next day a pang of compunction compels him to write her again: "The last letter I wrote you does not satisfy me, because it does not do you justice on a point on which you have seldom had justice done you, I mean your earnest and successful endeavour for self-improvement. In all respects in which both nature and an exceedingly defective or one-sided education have made you
sentimentality, which is to say that it sometimes seems false; but she is never an obnoxious moralist: her judgment of men is quite sober and her judgment of ideas quite sound. II CALVIN STOWE; FRANCIS GRIERSON; THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC; THE UNION AS RELIGIOUS MYSTICISl\1 MRs. STowE, after the drowning of her son, had resorted to spiritualistic seances, but she had found the communications supposed to be elicited from the other world disappointing and unconvincing. «If the
at ease or that he finds himself with others at any sort of disadvantage. "Mr. Lincoln was a curious being," says Herndon in a letter to Weik. "He had an idea that he was equal to, if not superior to, all things; thought he was fit and skilled in all things, master of all things, and graceful in all things,"- adding, however, that he "had not good judgments; he had no sense of the fitness, appropriateness, harmony of things." "With all [Lincoln's] awkwardness of manner," wrote Don Piatt, a