View Full Version : A good read: The Last Generation

Emmanuel Dabney
07-01-2008, 12:24 PM

Need some summer reading? If you haven't, I highly suggest reading Peter Carmichael's The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005). Carmichael's excellent research provides insight to those Virginians born between 1830 and 1843.

Carmichael's general research centers on an examination of how these people were Confederate nationalists before many of their elders, the reasons why, their committment to the war, and how these people survived and interpreted themselves in the aftermath of the South's defeat.

Some of the areas discussed includes the religious revivals that we all know about but his examination into the lives of the last generation highlights how they used religion as a way to transcend all socio-economic levels to rally the Confederate troops behind a country so centered on the ownership of people. Also discussed is how the last generation asserted their manliness as a method to finally be able to boss around and control others and the effects of going too far and not pushing buttons too much. The political issues these young men felt were important before, during, and following the war are also analyzed in comparison with those of their elders.

Happy reading!