A Bloodless Victory The Battle of New Orleans in History

A Bloodless Victory The Battle of New Orleans in History and Memory Once celebrated on par with the Fourth of July January 8th―the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans―is no longer a day of reverence for most Americans Although the United States’ stunning 1815 defeat of the British army south of New Orleans gave rise to the presidency of Andrew Jackson the Democratic Party and the legend of Jean Laffite the battle has not been a national holiday since 1861Joseph F Stoltz III explores how generations of Americans have consciously revised reinterpreted and reexamined the memory of the conflict to fit the cultural and social needs of their time Combining archival research with deep analyses of music literature theatre and film across two centuries of American popular culture Stoltz highlights the myriad ways that politicians artists academics and ordinary people have rewritten the battle’s history While these efforts could be nefarious―or driven by political necessity or racial animus―far often they were simply part of each generations’ expression of values and world viewFrom Andrew Jackson’s presidential campaign to the occupation of New Orleans by the Union Army to the Jim Crow era the continuing reinterpretations of the battle alienated whole segments of the American population from its memorialization Thus a close look at the Battle of New Orleans offers an opportunity to explore not just how events are collectively remembered across generations but also how a society discards memorialization efforts it no longer finds necessary or palatable

3 thoughts on “A Bloodless Victory The Battle of New Orleans in History and Memory

  1. Miles Smith Miles Smith says:

    Disclaimer Dr Stoltz is a close personal and professional friendRating books on memory is a difficult task largely because there are not many monographs in the genre and the extant ones are often written by park rangers or buffs Stoltz I doubt has written the definitive work on the subject but he has certainly written the first important book on the memory of the battle This is a necessary addition to the historiography of the Early Republic and of Louisiana John Williamson Ward's work focused on the intellectual effect of the battle in Jacksonian poltics but Stoltz here is worried about memory Its an excellent book Not because its the next Pulitzer winner Stoltz's prose is steady and methodical not sensuous but because the author has executed the work's aim as completely as anyone ever has Louisianans will find the work interesting for the light it shines on memory and public history in the state Historians of the Early Republic will find a few new insights but the most important audience for this book is grad students especially those interested in public history Bloodless Victory is a model of the type of work a successful public historian produces Far from being mere curators public historians offer another vitally necessary medium of searching for analyzing and conveying history With A Bloodless Victory Joe Stoltz has shown just how valuable public history is to the professional historian and to the interested lay person

  2. Julie Julie says:

    Excellent history of the Battle of New Orleans and overall commemoration over the past 200 years

  3. Ross Harrison Ross Harrison says:

    An excellent examination of how history is a living thing And a reminder that remembering is an act of creationGreat work Joe

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