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Fiction Distorting Fact: The Prison Life, Annotated by Jefferson Davis

By author: Eckert
Product Code: H184
ISBN: 9780865542013
Product Format: Hardback
Availability:Not currently available.
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Price: $39.95

When, in May 1865, Jefferson David was captured by Federal troops and imprisoned in Fortress Monroe, Virginia, he recieved little sympathy from his fellow Southerners. Yet by the time he was released two years later Davis had been transformed into a martyr and hero, due in large part to The Prison Life of Jefferson Davis, published in 1866. Reputedly a memoir by Davis's prison physician, Henery Craven, the book portrayed Davis as a hero who had suffered vicariously for the South. Yet. as Edward Eckert demonstrates, Dr. Craven's role in the writing or even documenting the book was minimal. It was written by a Nothernern Democrat, Charles G. Halpine, for purposes both pecuniary and pilitical. His account, hastily composed, is fraught with errors and distortions of fact. Although David knew The Prision Life was a froaud, he never publicly criticized it. Repudiation of the book would have relegated him to the role od Southern pariah. But privately David annotated his own copy the The Prision Life, noting its many errors and distortions. His annotations are faithfully reproduced as sidenotes in this edition of The Prision Life. Professor Eckert's extended introduction provides an account of the origins, context, consequences, and importance of The Prision Life, along with the first full, objective account of Davis's imprisonment ever to appear. This new edition now becomes the standard reference work for every reader who seeks to understand what really happened to Jefferson Davis behind the walls of Fortress Monroe. Edward K. Eckert is professor and chair of the department of history at St. Bonaventure University. he completed doctoral studies in history at the University of Flordia.
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