Faces of Discord: The Civil War Era at the National Portrait Gallery

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9780061135842: Faces of Discord: The Civil War Era at the National Portrait Gallery

Daniel Webster, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Jefferson Davis, John Brown. We know their names and recall the place of each in our nation's history. But do we recognize their faces and those of the dozens of their contemporaries who forged a new and forward-looking America during the Civil War era?

Faces of Discord is a look into the real faces of the leading historical figures of this turbulent and transformative time. Compiled from the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, these depictions include those of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, John S. Mosby, George Armstrong Custer, and many others who were painted, sculpted, and photographed by the foremost artists of the day.

More than just arresting pictures in a book, these “faces of discord” represent historical portraits of the period, some of which were once owned by the famous sitters themselves and passed down to the Smithsonian by their descendants. The National Portrait Gallery is a fitting repository for these images, in part because the gallery occupies the building that was used as a barracks and hospital for Federal troops during the war and was the site of Lincoln's second inaugural ball.

Faces of Discord also tells the stories of the extraordinary lives behind the faces that changed the course of American history. Selected exclusively from Smithsonian collections and illustrated within Faces of Discord are rarely seen personal possessions and memorabilia associated with many of these historical figures who still command our attention and so vividly animate these pages.

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About the Author:

James G. Barber is currently Professor and Head of the School of Social Administration and Social Work at Flinders University in Australia. He is the author of "Beyond Casework" and numerous articles.

Marc Pachter is Director of the National Portrait Gallery. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

James M. McPherson is a distinguished Civil War historian. He won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for his book BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA. His other publications include MARCHING TOWARD FREEDOM: BLACKS IN THE CIVIL WAR, Second Edition (1991); ORDEAL BY FIRE: THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, Third Edition (2001); ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION (1991); FOR CAUSE AND COMRADES: WHY MEN FOUGHT IN THE CIVIL WAR (1997), which won the Lincoln Prize in 1998; CROSSROADS OF FREEDOM: ANTIETAM (2002); HALLOWED GROUND: A WALK AT GETTYSBURG (2003); and TRIED BY WAR: ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF (2008), which won the Lincoln Prize for 2009. Professor McPherson served as president of the American Historical Association (2003-2004).

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