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Mary Chesnut's Civil War download epub

by Mary Chesnut,C. Vann Woodward

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Mary Boykin Chesnut (née Miller) (March 31, 1823 – November 22, 1886) was an American author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle.

Mary Boykin Chesnut (née Miller) (March 31, 1823 – November 22, 1886) was an American author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle. She described the war from within her upper-class circles of Southern planter society, but encompassed all classes in her book. She was married to a lawyer who served as a United States senator and Confederate officer.

Mary Chesnut's Civil War is an annotated collection of the diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut, an upper-class planter who lived in South Carolina during the American Civil War. The diaries were extensively annotated by historian C. Vann Woodward and published by Yale University Press in 1981. For his work on the book, Woodward was awarded the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for History.

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Mary Chestnut's Civil War book. Winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize in History  .

Mary Chestnuts Civil War. Filed Under: Essays Tagged With: civil-war, mary, south carolina. Mary Boykin Chesnut was born on her grandparents’ estate at Mount Pleasant, South Carolina on March 31, 1823.

Written by Mary Boykin Chesnut on March 10, 1862, as the Civil War entered its second year, these words restate the purpose for which Chesnut claimed she began her diary

Written by Mary Boykin Chesnut on March 10, 1862, as the Civil War entered its second year, these words restate the purpose for which Chesnut claimed she began her diary. Mary Chesnut did indeed chronicle events of the Confederacy between 1861 and 1865, but she continued to work on her diary until her death in 1886.

Woodward's ingenious blending of the original journals and the subsequent 'Diary' makes this version immensely superior to the previous ones and enables us for the first time to appreciate the mind and art of this remarkable mind. ―Daniel Aaron, Harvard University.

Chesnut, Mary Boykin; Woodward, C. Vann (Comer Vann), 1908 . Vann (Comer Vann), 1908-; Muhlenfeld, Elisabeth. Chesnut, Mary Boykin, Authors, American, English literature American writers Chesnut, Mary Boykin Correspondence, diaries, etc. Publisher. New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press.

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“A feast for Civil War buffs…. One of the best firsthand records of the Confederate experience…. Electrifying.”―Walter Clemons, Newsweek“Here is a book to curl up with over a whole lifetime―to read and reread, to ponder and savor.”―Selma R. Williams, The Boston Globe“A painfully brilliant record of our old America at daggers drawn…. Mary Chestnut’s wit and shrewdness, her fierce abhorrence of slavery, her feminist ambitions, maker her observations peculiarly modern… C. Vann Woodward’s editing… is exemplary…. He has reacquainted us with a remarkable woman; and she has reacquainted us with the living past.”―Andrew Klavan, Saturday Review“Here is the rich and full context, as the author herself recreated it. It is by all odds the best of all civil War memoirs, and one of the most remarkable eye-witness accounts to emerge from that or any other war.”―Louis D. Rubin, Jr., The New Republic“Chestnut’s prose and insights dazzle. Lively sketches, biting characterizations, entertaining anecdotes, and vivid reflections fill the page.”―Catherine Clinton, The Journal of American History“Thanks to [C. Vann Woodawrd], we have the first authoritative text of this great work now revealed as the masterpiece it is; the finest work of literature to come out of the Civil War, perhaps one of the half dozen or so most important diaries in all literature; if you will, a Southern War and Peace.”―Reid Beddow, The Washington Post Book World“A great epic drama of our greatest national tragedy.”―William Styron, The New York Review of BooksWinner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize in HistoryC. Vann Woodwardis Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University.

Comments: (7)

I've been meaning to read this book for years! I knew it was a classic--basically the diary kept by a wealthy woman who grew up in antebellum South Carolina until her world was turned upside down by the outbreak of the Civil War. She loved to write anyhow, so Mary decided to write about the war and how it affected not just her life, but the lives of everyone around her. She spent years chronicling everything from family issues to her own opinions to the progress of the war--but somehow it is never boring. (Maybe because she WAS a born writer, after all!) It gives us insight into a long vanished world that I don't think we would be able to access in any other way. Mary was recording history AS IT HAPPENED--you cannot be bored or boring when writing about such momentous events, and Mary never was. A fascinating, INSIDE look at one Southern woman's experiences before, during, and after the Civil War. This is history recorded live. I recommend it very highly!
I'm only 150 pages into this diary but struck by how well she communicates/writes in an age of little or no media, except newspapers. People relied on each other for information and news from the battles. Humans being what they are still have personality differences, idle talk, opinions, hurtful and complimentary remarks. I'm impressed with how she expresses her apprehension, fear and uncertainty. Rarely do we have such accounts from folks close to the center of things in a time of crisis, change and expectation. I'm anxious to read further to learn of her emotions as things slowly change and begin to unravel for the South. Clearly those initial emotions and anticipated results never take into account the realities and wastefulness of war and the destruction that follows those idealistic dreams.
This book contains the personal thoughts and feelings of the wife of a wealth plantation owner who is part of the highest political circles of the CSA. Mary Boykin Chesnut is also an ancestor of mine, so it was not only informative but provocative. Mary had many physical problems and took opium on a regular basis. She often thinks of herself as a victim and is depressed much of the time. If you are looking for a cheerful account of life, this is not the book for you; however, if you are looking for insights into the bloodiest period of American history, this book is worth reading.
An exceptional work of scholarship. Provides fascinating views of the Confederate government and prominent personalities, especially Jefferson Davis and John Bell Hood. Contains much material not included in the horribly edited "Diary from Dixie".
One of the most personal and direct views of the US Civil War that's readily available. Most journals from the time are in dusty inaccessible archives but this one is readily available in many different versions with different editing choices. Nobody has time to read the 50,000 second hand books on the Civil War- so best to start with the journals of people who lived through it and wrote down their feelings and experiences at the time it was happening. And this book is one of the most famous and detailed of the available first-hand literature.
Reading this book is like opening a door through time and having a daily cup of coffee & gossip session with Mary Chesnut. She was from a fine family with her father being a senator and one of the largest slave owners in South Carolina. Her husband, John Chesnut Jr., was also a senator before the war. He remained politically connected in the Confederacy. He was a general and an aid to Jefferson Davis. Given her situation in life it is not surprising that Mrs. Chesnut had an elite circle of friends and knew everyone that was anyone.

Mary loved to gossip and name drop and had very strong opinions on any given subject. She had no children so she had plenty of time to be self indulgent and a bit vain. She really must have been a fascinating person as people seem to be drawn to her. Varina Davis was one of her closest friends and she visited the Davis home frequently. She believed slavery to be wrong & hated the fact that there were so many racially mixed children that looked very much like the master of the plantations. She complained about the costs involved in keeping slaves and thought the time had come to abolish slavery. On the other hand, she spoke of slaves like children that needed to be cared for. She also had never had to take care of herself or run a house. She relied totally on her servants for everything.

She wrote this diary with the intention of including rumors, facts,and anything she might be thinking at the time. John Bell Hood was a frequent visitor and is talked of in her diary quite frequently. She talked about Hood's love for a woman and of his wounds. She referred to him as their "wounded knight". She was a very opinionated, outspoken, and (I think) spoiled women. There are no great military strategies and battle description in her book. She describes the dinners they had or how people were dressed. She talks of all the gossip about all the differert generals and the politics of the day. Reading her diary is like sitting down for coffee with her and listening to the events,real or rumored, that she chats about. She loves all the gossip and thrives on attention She had a front row seat to all events about the war, civilian life, and the downfall of the Confederacy It's wonderful to have the chance to get to know Mary Chesnut with her candid way of writting. She also writes of the trials and tribulations when everything was crashing down aroound her. Her first experience of wearing old clothes, food shortages, no money, & wondering all the while what was going to happen to her and her husband. People were dying all around her and her. Her entire culture & lifestyle were disapearing, everything simply falling apart, yet she kept up her writting. What a fascinating woman Mrs. Mary Chesnut must have been.

It may be a little difficult to read for some. I think maybe most difficult for men for much of it is "idle chatter" that women do when they get together. There is much information in here that you can only get from someone in the middle of it all.
This book was a fascinating depiction of a highly-placed lady in Southern society during the Civil War. It is interesting for the attitudes it shows and the history it dipicts. It helps to have some background in the history of this era, but it is not necessary. The book spends less time on history and more on the social events of the day. It is interesting for the attitudes and feelings about race and slavery as shown by someone who benefitted most from this institution.
Mary Chesnut's Civil War download epub
Author: Mary Chesnut,C. Vann Woodward
ISBN: 0300029799
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Language: English
Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (1981)
Pages: 886 pages