New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
346 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
The work of death
Dying: "to lay down my life"
Killing: "the harder courage"
Burying: "new lessons caring for the dead"
Naming: "the significant word UNKNOWN"
Realizing: civilians and the work of mourning
Believing and doubting: "what means this carnage?"
Accounting: "our obligations to the dead"
Numbering: "how many? how many?"
An illuminating study of the American struggle to comprehend the meaning and practicalities of death in the face of the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War. During the war, approximately 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. An equivalent proportion of today's population would be six million. This book explores the impact of this enormous death toll from every angle: material, political, intellectual, and spiritual. Historian Faust delineates the ways death changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation and its understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. She describes how survivors mourned and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the slaughter with its belief in a benevolent God, and reconceived its understanding of life after death.--From publisher description.