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Fiction as Fact: The Horse Soldiers and Popular Memory
I find excuses to slip the big questions into my courses, though I do so carefully. Many of my students are history majors, but they are rarely interested in the abstractions that fascinate philosophers. Few have read serious historical works even if they are considering a career in history teaching. More than a few had their understanding of the American past shaped in movie theaters or in front of the television—something that professional historians often lament.
Perhaps it is lamentable, but such is life, and it is a development that is not entirely bad. If nothing else, the popularity of certain films and television programs is proof that curiosity about the past still exists, that there is still an audience for historians to try to reach.
I have spent almost all my academic career studying Revolutionary America. At one point, well over a decade ago, I combined my interests in that period with an inquiry into the nature of history and commentary on how elements of the past as we know it are formed by popular culture. An unknown error has occurred.
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Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Grant hoped would distract Confederate forces while the Union Army made its move toward Vicksburg.
In the spring of , setting out from LaGrange, Tennessee, Grierson took a column of Yankee troopers south the length of Mississippi, destroying rail lines and rolling stock, torching supply depots, and disrupting Confederate communications. Neil Longley York demonstrates how historical "truths" are often omitted, fragmented, and altered before being assimilated into popular culture and how the events of our past are often molded to fit the constraints of the present.
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