Cover image for Death and the Civil War
Death and the Civil War
Espinola, Robin, producer.
Publication Information:
[United States] : PBS Distribution, [2012]
Physical Description:
1 videodisc (approximately 120 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Based on the best-selling book by Drew Gilpin Faust, this film will explore how the American Civil War created a 'republic of suffering' and will chart the far-reaching social, political, and social changes brought about by the pervasive presence and fear of death during the Civil War.
General Note:
Based on the book "This Republic of suffering" by Drew Gilpin Faust.

Subtitle on container: How the unthinkable became unforgettable.
Reading Level:
TV rating: TV14.
Added Uniform Title:
American experience (Television program)
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E468.9 .D43 2012V Adult DVD Central Library

On Order



This installment examines how the Civil War death toll, which is estimated to have been 750,000 people (2.5 percent of the nation's population at the time), affected the nation's psyche. Based on Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust's book This Republic of Suffering, the documentary includes remarks from her and fellow historians David W. Blight, Vincent Brown, J. David Hacker, and Mark S. Schantz poet Thomas Lynch, Adm. Mike Mullen (USN Ret.), a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and George Will. ~ Jeff Gemmill, Rovi

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-The Civil War, the first modern and industrial war, resulted in 750,000 casualties, a scale of death unprecedented in American history. This documentary, based on Drew Gilpin Faust's book This Republic of Suffering (Knopf, 2008), examines the ways the nation dealt with this unspeakable tragedy. Narrated by Oliver Platt, the film utilizes historical photographs and primary sources, especially letters written by soldiers, to tell the history of the war from Fort Sumter to Appomattox. Also examined are the changes Americans were forced to make in the way they looked at death. Soldiers died far from home and from loved ones, and were often buried with no coffins or ceremonies or records of the grave sites. The government had no infrastructure for burial, no ambulance corps to assist the wounded, no systems to identify bodies or notify families, no national cemeteries, and no federal obligation to the dead. That all changed as a result of the Civil War. Faust and other historians tell the story, including accounts of African Americans who buried Union dead, the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Clara Barton who took medical supplies to the battlefields and after the war created a clearinghouse of missing soldiers, the work of Southern women who organized to identify and rebury Confederate dead, and the establishment of Memorial Days. Featuring exquisite editing, excellent narration, and appropriate music, this film should be an essential part of our understanding of the Civil War.-Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Mt. Carmel (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.