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Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams During the Civil War


In this innovative new study, Jonathan W. White explores what dreams meant to Civil War-era Americans and what their dreams reveal about their experiences during the war. He shows how Americans grappled with their fears, desires, and struggles while they slept, and how their dreams helped them make sense of the confusion, despair, and loneliness that engulfed them.

Midnight in America takes a unique look at a rather pedestrian part of human existence--sleep and dreams--and how the experience of war and separation from loved ones often revealed underlying anxieties, fears, and hopes through individual dreams. Mining an astonishing amount of primary source material, White brings us closer . . . to the common soldier, often right into the private exchanges between spouses sharing their most tender dreams of the other.--The History Shelf

By Jonathan W. White. Published by University of North Carolina Press, 2017. 296 pages, hardcover.