As this innovative study reveals, by examining the events of 3 July 1863 through the selective and evocative lens of 'memory' we can learn much about why Pickett's Charge endures so strongly in the American imagination. Over the years, soldiers, journalists, veterans, politicians, orators, artists, poets, and educators, Northerners and Southerners alike, shaped, revised, and even sacrificed the 'history' of the charge to create 'memories' that met ever-shifting needs and deeply felt values. Reardon shows that the story told today of Pickett's Charge is really an amalgam of history and memory. The evolution of that mix, she concludes, tells us much about how we come to understand our nation's past.
"A fresh look at the disastrous assault."--"New Yorker"
"A splendidly lively study of the manipulation, not necessarily deliberate or malign, of public opinion."--"Atlantic Monthly"
"Exceptionally lucid. . . . This fine book provides vivid evidence of just how far we will go to alchemize fantasy into fact."--Jonathan Yardley, "Washington Post"
"Well-written and meticulously researched, Pickett's Charge in History and Memory utilizes first-rate scholarship to tell a fascinating story. . . . Should win a wide audience among general readers."--"Civil War History"
Assessing the myths and facts surrounding Pickett's Charge, Carol Reardon explores why this event endures so strongly in the American imagination. She demonstrates that the story told today of the charge is really an amalgam of history and memory and that the evolution of that mix tells us much about how we come to understand our nation's past.