Masters at the Movies, Take 4

Robert Brent Toplin, May 2008

Under the rubric, "Masters at the Movies," this column features a variety of articles about film crafted by some of the most accomplished historians in the profession. Most of the contributors to this series are familiar to AHA members principally in connection with their outstanding scholarship in history rather than because of their specific writing about film. Since historians rarely encounter these authors' observations about movies and television programs, their commentaries should be of particular interest to our readers.

This month's contributor is Gary Gallagher. He is the John L. Nau III Professor of the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. Gallagher's essay explores themes that are addressed at greater length in his new book, which is being released by the University of North Carolina Press: Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War. Among Gary Gallagher's previous books are The Confederate War, Lee and His Generals in War and Memory, The Wilderness Campaign, and Steven Dodson Ramseur: Lee's Gallant General. Gallagher has received the Laney Prize for the best book on the Civil War, the William Woods Hassler Award for contributions to Civil War studies, the Lincoln Prize, and the Fletcher Pratt Award for the best nonfiction book on the Civil War.

—Robert Brent Toplin (Univ. of North Carolina at Wilmington), a member of the editorial advisory board of Perspectives on History, conceptualized this series and edits the essays published under this rubric.