Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier via Instagram

Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier via Instagram

Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier via Instagram

My newest book The Civil War on Film (co-written with my colleague Peg Lamphier as part of ABC-Clio’s Hollywood History series) was published today.

Peg and I discuss 10 Civil War films based on their accuracy and cultural context. It is no surprise that we agree with a collection of historians that the most accurate of all the films of the Civil War is Glory (written by Kevin Jarre), though even that film makes the ‘mistake’ of omitting the fact that Harriet Tubman served as a spy for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.

As we say about many of the films, one film can’t encapsulate the entirety of a historical event (though Free State of Jones (written by Gary Ross) does try, and here we admit that that attempt to do it all makes for a long and plodding film, which is sad since it is a thorough portrait of Reconstruction, which is nearly never covered in films as they all prefer ending when the war ends).

As always it was a pleasure to work with Peg. We’re in the middle of our second book for this series – chronicling how Women’s History is covered in films coming sometime in 2021.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

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Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier

My newest book The Civil War on Film (co-written with my colleague Peg Lamphier as part of ABC-Clio’s Hollywood History series) was published today. 

Peg and I discuss 10 Civil War films based on their accuracy and cultural context. It is no surprise that we agree with a collection of historians that the most accurate of all the films of the Civil War is Glory (written by Kevin Jarre), though even that film makes the ‘mistake’ of omitting the fact that Harriet Tubman served as a spy for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. 

As we say about many of the films, one film can’t encapsulate the entirety of a historical event (though Free State of Jones (written by Gary Ross) does try, and here we admit that that attempt to do it all makes for a long and plodding film, which is sad since it is a thorough portrait of Reconstruction, which is nearly never covered in films as they all prefer ending when the war ends).

As always it was a pleasure to work with Peg.  We’re in the middle of our second book for this series – chronicling how Women’s History is covered in films coming sometime in 2021.

Want to use The Civil War On Film as a classroom text?
Contact ABC-CLIO for more information

The Civil War on Film will inform high school and college readers interested in Civil War film history on issues that arise when film viewers confuse entertainment with historical accuracy.

The nation’s years of civil war were painful, destructive, and unpleasant. Yet war films tend to embrace mythologies that erase that historical reality, romanticizing the Civil War. The editors of this volume have little patience for any argument that implies race-based slavery isn’t an entirely repugnant economic, political, and cultural institution and that the people who fought to preserve slavery were fighting for a glorious and admirable cause

To that end, The Civil War on Film will open with a timeline and introduction and then explore ten films across decades of cinema history in ten chapters, from Birth of a Nation, which debuted in 1915, to The Free State of Jones, which debuted one hundred and one years later. It will also analyze and critique the myriad of mythologies and ideologies which appear in American Civil War films, including Lost Cause ideation, Black Confederate fictions, Northern Aggression mythologies, and White Savior tropes. It will also suggest the way particular films mirror the time in which they were written and filmed. Further resources will close the volume.

  • Makes clear that depictions of the Civil War on film are often mythologized
  • Analyzes films in a manner that shows students the historical context in which the films were made and viewed
  • Goes beyond just synopses and historical facts, helping students to develop critical thinking skills
  • Stimulates debate over the various ways the war was interpreted and experienced

Film discussed include:

  1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  2. Friendly Persuasion (1957)
  3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
  4. Glory (1989)
  5. Gettysburg (1993)
  6. Andersonville (1996)
  7. Ride with the Devil (1999)
  8. Gangs of New York (2002)
  9. Lincoln (2012)
  10. Free State of Jones (2016)

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

More books from Dr. Rosanne Welch


Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier Talk Women In American History on the College of Education and Integrative Studies Podcast [Video]

Here’s a fun interview of my friend and frequent collaborator Peg Lamphier and I on the podcast hosted by the Dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona.

Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier Talk Women In America History on the College of Education and Integrative Studies Podcast [Video]

He invited us to discuss the two awards given to our 4 volume encyclopedia on Women in American History.  (It was named to both the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List and the 2018 list of Best Historical Materials, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association) and our current book contracts.

Thanks to Ashley Jones, the Communications Specialist at Cal Poly Pomona, who plans podcasts for helping to highlight the work of adjuncts on our campus.  If we can’t get ‘the big bucks’ it’s nice to have our scholarship acknowledged by the larger community. 

We filmed this before campus closed down in March so we end up saying our new book on Fact Checking Hollywood History will be out in April… which of course hasn’t happened since most college libraries continue to be closed.  We expect it to be released in another couple of months.

Text of Rosanne’s Keynote at 10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

I’m happy to post this ebook of papers presented at the10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

I gave the opening lecture entitled, “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered” which appears here in English, though the rest of the papers (naturally) are in Portuguese.  It was an honor to be asked to do the lecture and privilege to spend time with Professor Glaucia Davino and her students who made me feel very welcome in their city.

Words matter. Writers matter and women writers matter in this world. It is important to consider writers because the word writer comes before the word director when you describe a filmmaker who can do two things. They are writer-directors, they are not director-writers. That tells us something. The vision of a movie cannot exist without the screenplay. A director cannot direct nothing. There must be an idea. There must be a philosophy. There must be a theme. There must be a story. This proves that the writer is of equal importance. We must remember writers have to be equal partners and I think we realize that without realizing it. When people talk about movies to their friends they don’t say “I loved the camera angle in scene 7.” They quote dialogue from their favorite movies whether they are from a Pixar film or a Disney one, they quote the dialogue and that is the work of the writer. That’s the person who should be given credit, yet often at the start a class I ask students to list their two or three favorite films, who directed those films and who wrote that film. They very often cannot name the person who wrote the film they claim to adore. How can you study to be a writer if you don’t remember writers yourself? Hence the reason to study Screenwriting. Hence researching screenwriters has always mattered.

When actors Frances McDormand won her Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri she said of the screenwriter Martin McDonagh, “He did not sketch a blueprint. That’s an insult to a screenplay. He didn’t string together a few words. He wrote, meticulously crafted, a tsunami, and then he allowed his troupe of actors to surf it into the shore.” (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sag-awards-three-billboards-takes-top-honors-at-a-show-women-took-center-stage-1076726) She credited the writer in a way that many people do not.

Stories – and therefore screenplays and therefore screenwriters — are important because they transmit culture around the world. The United States has had a corner on that market for far too many years but now we’re beginning to see other stories permeate our culture, a good and beneficial thing for a country made of immigrants and the ancestors of immigrants. Stories have always transmitted culture far back to the cave paintings of many ancient cultures, through Gilgamesh, and the griots of Africa. Humans have used stories to move culture forward. Movies are the most current version of doing that so why do we forget to study the storytellers? Now is the time to fix this glaring omission both in casual discussions of films and in academia.

Read More

Read and Download The Entire Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered Presentation in PDF Format

Text of Rosanne's Keynote at 10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.
Download the Portuguese PDF 

Watch the the entire presentation here

Photos from the event

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

Research Tidbit: Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks On Radio Hours After Pearl Harbor Attack

Today’s research tidbit – did you know Eleanor Roosevelt spoke to the nation about Pearl Harbor the night before Franklin did?

She had a regularly scheduled Sunday night radio show called “Over Our Coffee Cups” so she went on the air that night to say some things that, while not “a date that will live in infamy” do resonate.

Research Tidbit: Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks On Radio Hours After Pearl Harbor Attack

Ep. 11, 1941-12-07, Pan-American Coffee Bureau Series

On the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, ER discusses what the nation must do to face this international crisis. ER also interviews Corporal James Cannon.

You can hear her voice in the collection at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers or read this:

“Many of you all over the country have boys in the services who will now be called upon to go into action… You cannot escape anxiety. You cannot escape a clutch of fear at your heart and yet I hope that the certainty of what we have to meet will make you rise above these fears. We must go about our daily business more determined than ever to do the ordinary things as well as we can and when we find a way to do anything more in our communities to help others, to build morale, to give a feeling of security, we must do it. Whatever is asked of us I am sure we can accomplish it. We are the free and unconquerable people of the United States of America.
To the young people of the nation, I must speak a word tonight. You are going to have a great opportunity. There will be high moments in which your strength and your ability will be tested. I have faith in you. I feel as though I was standing upon a rock and that rock is my faith in my fellow citizens.”

Research Tidbit: Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks On Radio Hours After Pearl Harbor Attack