Authorial Intrusion and the Civil War Narrative: How to Write History Through Fiction
Historical fiction is one of the most popular literary genres. When done well it brings history to life, teaching readers about important historical people and events while also evoking profound, relatable emotions through its characters. But how does the historical author balance history and fiction? In this craft essay, historian and author Colin Mustful carefully examines four Civil War narratives and identifies how each author incorporates important historical details into their novels without disrupting the fictional dream. Mustful, who is the author of several historical novels, identifies the elements that make a historical novel effective and engaging—he shows readers and writers alike how to write history through fiction.
The Generation of 1837: Attitudes, Policies, and Actions Toward Indian Populations of Argentina
By the year 1880 the Indians of the vast plains region known as the Pampas in Argentina had been almost completely exterminated. The defeat over the Indians by the Argentine government was a long process largely influenced by the works of a group of elite intellectuals called the Generation of 1837. This essay evaluates the literary works of the Generation of 1837 and links those works to the actions taken against the Pampas Indians throughout the nineteenth century. The justification for the conquering and extinguishment of the Pampas Indians was influenced through the racist attitude of the Generation of 1837 disclosed in their literary works.
Unabashed Hypocrisy: A Dichotomy of Values
The acronym by which Papa John’s operates is known as FASPAC. This stands for: Focus, Accountability, Superiority, People Are Priority Always (PAPA), Attitude, and Constant improvement. This acronym represents the said values of the company at a general, all-encompassing, and macro-level. It is unspecific. It is, at the farthest reaching level, a method of quality control created to instill within all of its team members the company’s core values. I do not seek to debunk FASPAC. I admire the values laid out in the acronym. Furthermore, I believe that Papa John’s, at every level, seeks and succeeds to achieve these values. However, to a larger degree, I believe that Papa John’s alienates itself from these values far too often. Essentially, what I have witnessed through thirteen years of experience is an unabashed hypocrisy to Papa John’s’ core values. I am confused by this hypocrisy because I admire the work, the people, the system, and the success of Papa John’s Pizza. But it is this dichotomy between what the company says and what the company does, that leads to the following essay. Perhaps this dichotomy cannot be reconciled, but it must at least be articulated and then thoughtfully considered.
The Tobacco Controversy of 1857: An Early Debate and Its Delayed Results
In May 1851, the Great Exhibition was held at London’s Hyde Park. The exhibition was a grand display of modern industrial technology, design, and innovation. It represented a move toward industry and capitalism that continued well into the twentieth century. At the time, Britain was the leader in industrial growth as well as imperial expansion. In order to achieve this, the nation relied on endless numbers of low-class, low-wage labor as a foundation to fledgling capitalism. Long hours and deplorable conditions were commonplace as a result of what Karl Marx called unbridled selfishness.
Alongside a growth in industry was the growth of media. This became apparent through the daily coverage of the Crimean War. Reports given by William Howard Russell of The Times were an historical innovation that allowed people to follow the events of the Eastern campaign. The newspaper became the instrument of information and made possible the sharing of opinions. In addition to media expansion, tobacco smoking also emerged from the Crimean War. Western observers took to the habit, and with their newfound capitalist ambition, brought the habit back to England to be exploited. It was not long before the addictive narcotic enamored the British people, especially its workers. Though smoking had previously been engaged in, never had it become so public than after the Crimean War. The new accessibility of the press and the constant industrious attitude of advancement developed a setting for wholesome dispute. In 1857, this led to the Tobacco Controversy, a discussion held in the pages of The Lancet debating the effects of tobacco smoking on the character and well-being of its users.
A Welcome Tragedy: Factors that Led to the U.S. – Dakota Conflict of 1862
On December 26, 1862, the United States Government hanged thirty-eight Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota, for their participation in what is known as the U.S. – Dakota Conflict of 1862. This remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history. But the hangings and the depredations that preceded them were not the result of an isolated incident or event. The Conflict did not occur by chance. Rather, it was the foreseeable result of years of misconduct, fraud, and exploitation. Recommendations were made and warnings were given, but nothing was done. The Indian System fostered neglect, nourished corruption, and welcomed tragedy.
Unwarranted Expulsion: The Removal of the Winnebago Indians
In February of 1863 the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians of southern Minnesota were exiled from beyond the state of Minnesota forever. This act of law came in the aftermath of the U.S. – Dakota Conflict of 1862. Prior to the conflict, the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians had been promised a permanent home. They lived peaceably and had made marked improvements upon the land as documented by Indian Agents. Despite clear evidence that the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians took no part in the Conflict of 1862, public sentiment exceedingly favored removal. Ultimately, the U.S. – Dakota Conflict of 1862 acted as the necessary catalyst for the people of southern Minnesota to influence legislation and provoke the unwarranted expulsion of the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians.
The Battle of Point Pleasant: A Critical Event at the Onset of a Revolution
Just six months prior to the onset of the American Revolution a major battle raged between colonial Virginians and the native Indians of western Virginia. This was the Battle of Point Pleasant fought on October 10, 1774. For various reasons, this battle has been recognized by some as the first battle of the American Revolution. However, evidence clearly shows that the Battle of Point Pleasant had no connection with the American Revolution. Rather, the Battle of Point Pleasant was the final battle of the American Colonial Wars. Though it was not a part of the Revolution, it was a critical event in American history that acted to open the settlement of the west and to free Colonial resources to ensure victory in the war for independence.
The American Tobacco Controversy: The Tobacco Controversy of 1857 Revisited
Throughout the nineteenth century the issue of tobacco smoking was an area of constant debate. In 1857 this debate became public through the pages of the British medical journal the Lancet in what is known as the Tobacco Controversy of 1857. The controversy in Great Britain initiated a thorough discussion over the effects of tobacco smoking in America. The debate was vibrant, but at the time it led to no significant results. However, the controversy created public awareness about the possible effects of tobacco smoking and laid an important foundation for future discussion, research, and legislation.