Previous histories of the press in the American Civil War have focused on how journalists covered military operations. Taking a cultural approach, this book is unique in its focus on the press as a social, political, and economic institution that both shaped and was shaped by the Confederacy’s experience in the Civil War. It expertly documents how the press changed, how it stayed the same, and how it evolved by examining the role of the press in Confederate society, social and demographic characteristics of journalists and their audiences, legal regulation of the industry, and how the war influenced the business side of journalism as well as the editorial.
The story of the Confederate press provides a prime opportunity to study how a domestic war affects the American press. By examining the actors as well as the roles, it is possible to draw a more complete picture of the place of the press in the Confederacy and how the war influenced Southern newspapers.