Northern Character

9780823271818: Hardback
Release Date: 1st June 2016

9780823271825: Paperback
Release Date: 1st June 2016

9780823271832: EPUB
Release Date: 1st June 2016

9780823271849: PDF
Release Date: 1st June 2016

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 278

Series The North's Civil War

Fordham University Press

Northern Character

College-Educated New Englanders, Honor, Nationalism, and Leadership in the Civil War Era

This book examines the social and gendered world of college-educated New Englanders who fought in the Civil War by exploring how they tried to develop good character traits and a sense of nationalism. The book also explores how these men interacted with soldiers and southerners, faced battle, and approached Reconstruction.
Hardback / £116.00
Paperback / £27.99
EPUB / £32.00
PDF / £32.00

The elite young men who inhabited northern antebellum states—the New Brahmins—developed their leadership class identity based on the term “character”: an idealized internal standard of behavior consisting most importantly of educated, independent thought and selfless action. With its unique focus on Union honor, nationalism, and masculinity, Northern Character addresses the motivating factors of these young college-educated Yankees who rushed into the armed forces to take their place at the forefront of the Union’s war.

This social and intellectual history tells the New Brahmins’ story from the campus to the battlefield and, for the fortunate ones, home again. Northern Character examines how these good and moral “men of character” interacted with common soldiers and faced battle, reacted to seeing the South and real southerners, and approached race, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation.

Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of history at Angelo State University. He is co-editor (with Lorien Foote) of So Conceived and So Dedicated: Intellectual Life in the Civil War–Era North, also from Fordham University Press.

This important book is the first comprehensive study of a group of young men who provided vital leadership to the Union war effort and played key roles in the post-war United States. It makes a significant scholarly contribution to a variety of discussions regarding nationalism, social class, manhood, and the nature of leadership in the Union Army.

—Lorien Foote
Texas A&M University

[This] book's principal strength is that it traces antebellum ideas about character and leadership through the Civil War and into the twentieth century, as students became soldiers, veterans, and civic leaders.

The Journal of Southern History