Cover image for Hope & glory : essays on the legacy of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment
Hope & glory : essays on the legacy of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment
Blatt, Martin Henry, 1951-
Publication Information:
Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts in association with Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxii, 336 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E513.5 54TH .H66 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Gathering together contributions from the academic world and personal memories, this work examines the lasting influence of the most famous black military unit of the American Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.

Author Notes

Stephen Belyea is currently head of the Art Department at Boston's Cathedral High School, where he also teaches classes focusing on issues of racism in America.
Martin H. Blatt is the Chief of Cultural Resources/Historian at Boston National Historical Park.
David W. Blight, Professor of History and Black Studies at Amherst College, has written widely on abolitionism, American historical memory, and African American intellectual and cultural history.
Thomas J. Brown, Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, is the author of Dorothea Dix, New England Reformer (1998).
Thomas Cripps, University Distinguished Professor retired at Morgan State University, has written five books, among them Slow Fade to Black: The Negro in American Film, 1900-1942 (1997).
Kathryn Greenthal is a Trustee of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial in Cornish, New Hampshire.
James Oliver Horton, Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History at George Washington University, is also Director of the African American Communities Project of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution.
General Colin L. Powell, twelfth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993, was the youngest person and the first African American to hold the most senior position in the armed forces of the United States.
Edwin S. Redkey, emeritus Professor of History, Purchase College, State University of New York, has written widely on African American history.
Marilyn Richardson is a former curator of Boston's Museum of Afro American History and the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill.
Kirk Savage is Associate Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pittsburgh.
James Smethurst, Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Florida, is the author of The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African-American Poetry, 1930-1946 (1999).
Cathy Stanton is a freelance writer who has produced many works in genre fiction, playwriting, and other areas.
Helen Vendler, A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University, is the author of books on Yeats, Stevens, Herbert, Keats, Heaney, and Shakespeare and is the editor of The Harvard Book of Contemporary Poetry.
Denise Von Glahn, Assistant Professor of Music History at Florida State University, specializes in twentieth-century and American music.
Joan Waugh, Associate Professor of History at the University of California at Los Angeles, is the author of Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of Josephine Shaw Lowell (1997).
Donald Yacovone, Associate Editor for the Massachusetts Historical Society, has written on the history of abolitionism, reform, gender, and nineteenth-century African American history.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

These 15 original essays offer a solid summary of the experience of the 54th Massachusetts, the most famous regiment of black Civil War soldiers, and an insightful analysis of their impact on 20th-century American race relations. A brief introduction by Colin Powell places the regiment's story in the larger picture of the evolution of black rights in America. The first four essays do a fine job explaining the basic facts about the black men who volunteered for the regiment, their struggle for respect and equal pay, and the role of their white commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. General readers and serious students alike will benefit from this background, but the book's more significant contribution is the group of 11 essays that address how the 54th Massachusetts has been remembered in art, poetry, literature, music, and film. There are superb accounts of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's powerful 1897 sculpture of Colonel Shaw and his men. Two essays on the film Glory (1989) point out the movie's historical limitations but praise its unprecedented contribution in advancing popular understanding of the black experience in the Civil War. With 46 pages of footnotes and 37 illustrations, this collection may be too specialized for many libraries, but any university library collection will be enriched by this high-quality publication. R. Detweiler California Polytechnic State University--San Luis Obispo

Table of Contents

General Colin L. PowellJames Oliver HortonEdwin S. RedkeyDonald YacovoneJoan WaughDavid W. BlightMarilyn RichardsonKathryn GreenthalThomas J. BrownKirk SavageJames SmethurstDenise Von GlahnHelen VendlerMartin H. BlattThomas CrippsCathy Stanton and Stephen Belyea
Illustrationsp. xii
Foreword: Hope and Glory: The Monument to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regimentp. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
Part I The Soldiers and Their World
Defending the Manhood of the Race: The Crisis of Citizenship in Black Boston at Midcenturyp. 7
Brave Black Volunteers: A Profile of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regimentp. 21
The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, the Pay Crisis, and the "Lincoln Despotism"p. 35
"It Was a Sacrifice We Owed": The Shaw Family and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regimentp. 52
Part II A Saintly Shape of Fame
The Shaw Memorial in the Landscape of Civil War Memoryp. 79
Taken from Life: Edward M. Bannister, Edmonia Lewis, and the Memorialization of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regimentp. 94
Augustus Saint-Gaudens and the Shaw Memorialp. 116
Reconstructing Boston: Civic Monuments of the Civil Warp. 130
Uncommon Soldiers: Race, Art, and the Shaw Memorialp. 156
"Those Noble Sons of Ham": Poetry, Soldiers, and Citizens at the End of Reconstructionp. 168
Part III Renewing Immortality
The Musical Monument of Charles Ivesp. 191
Art, Heroism, and Poetry: The Shaw Memorial, Lowell's "For the Union Dead," and Berryman's "Boston Common: A Meditation upon the Hero"p. 202
Glory: Hollywood History, Popular Culture, and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regimentp. 215
Glory as a Meditation on the Saint-Gaudens Monumentp. 236
"Their Time Will Yet Come": The African American Presence in Civil War Reenactmentp. 253
Notesp. 275
Contributorsp. 321
Indexp. 325