Civil War monuments have gained renewed attention in recent years, much of it prompted by a long overdue public reckoning with Confederate symbols. In places like New Orleans, Charlottesville, and Chapel Hill, anger has erupted over the removal (or threat of removal) of statues to Confederate military leaders and soldiers. Thomas J. Brown's Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America comes at an especially opportune time to help us better contextualize when and where these memorials, North and South, were built and why. Beginning during the war itself, Brown traces the erection of hundreds of monuments through the 1930s, including statues, memorial halls, and obelisks. These structures, Brown argues, “transformed the civic landscape and the place of the military in national life” (1). Surveying oration speeches, commission reports, newspapers, and the monuments themselves, Civil War Monuments offers a thoughtful and timely commentary on Civil War memory and, more generally,...

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