“The Portable Lyceum in the Civil War”

— Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray

“This first chapter … profoundly disrupts the long-standing scholarly consensus that popular intellectual activities almost ceased during the Civil War. Drawing on an array of unpublished personal papers and their transcriptions of more than two million words about Civil War–era reading culture, the Zborays recover a multitude of educational and cultural activities among black and white women and men, North and South, on the home front, in battlefield camps, and in prisons. By exploring the varied people, places, and purposes of lecturing and learning during the Civil War, the Zborays articulate the central themes of Thinking Together while dramatically altering the way we understand the development of platform culture in the nineteenth century” (pp. 15-16).

Selected Bibliography on the Lyceum and Its Audiences

Bode, Carl. The American Lyceum; Town Meeting of the Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 1956.

Mead, C. David. Yankee Eloquence in the Middle West: The Ohio Lyceum, 1850-1870. East Lansing: Michigan State College Press, 1951.

Ray, Angela G. The Lyceum and Public Culture in the Nineteenth-Century United States. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2005.

Wright, Tom F., ed. The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Lecture Culture and the Globe in Nineteenth-Century America. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013.

Zboray, Ronald J., and Zboray, Mary Saracino. Everyday Ideas: Socioliterary Experience among Antebellum New Englanders. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006.

Works on the Civil War

Cashin, Joan E. The War Was You and Me: Civilians in the American Civil War. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Cimbala, Miller, and Cimbala, Paul A. Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments. New York: Fordham University Press, 2002.

Marten, James Alan. Civil War America: Voices from the Home Front. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2003.

Relevant People

Emilie Frances Davis

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson

Frederick Douglass

Christian A. Fleetwood

Amanda Akin Stearns