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Collisions of Conflict

Studies in American History and Culture, 1820-1920


Jerzy Sobieraj

This book explores and analyzes the problems and challenges that have resulted from the Civil War, Reconstruction, slavery, and segregation in North America. These painful chapters in American history have continued along racial and regional lines and are of particular interest today when the USA are for the first time governed by an African American president. The postscriptum extends the main narrative by focusing on selected writers’ activities and fiction during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
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My deepest gratitude, difficult to express in words, goes to Professor Samuel Coale of Wheaton College, Massachusetts, whose help, comments, and advice on this project were priceless. The project could not be developed without the invitation from the English Department of Brown University; my special thanks go to Professor Philip Gould, head of the department, and Professor Stephen Foley whose assistance was more than outstanding. As a visiting scholar I had access to numerous resources indispensable to complete this project. My work was easier due to professionalism and kindness of the librarians at Brown’s Rockefeller Library.

I also appreciate the support of my Polish friends and colleagues, Professor Marta Wiszniowska of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and Professor Piotr Skurowski of Warsaw’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities. I cannot omit mentioning a grant received from the latter institution, which was much help in my work on this project.

I am extremely grateful to my wife, Ewa, my daughter, Kasia, and her husband, Staś, for their constant interest and support.

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