21H.223 War & American Society

As taught in: Fall 2002

Photo of a metal relief sculpture of Civil War-era soldiers marching with rifles and gear.

Photographic detail of monument to black Civil War soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts regiment. (Image courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)




Prof. Christopher Capozzola

Course Highlights

Course Description

Writing in the wake of the Civil War, poet Walt Whitman insisted that "the real war will never get in the books." Throughout American history, the experience of war has fundamentally shaped the ways that Americans think about themselves, their fellow Americans, and the meanings of national citizenship. War has also posed challenges of representation, both for those who fought as well as those who did not. This subject examines how Americans have told the stories of modern war in history, literature, and popular culture, and interprets them in terms of changing ideas about American national identity.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.