THE LONG SHADOW OF THE CIVIL WAR, forthcoming, UNC Press, Feb., 2010

I am delighted with the cover designed by University of North Carolina Press for The Long Shadow of the Civil War, forthcoming February 2010. The cover’s shadowy figures and shrouded landscape not only suggest the enduring importance of place, family, and kinship in the South, but also the clandestine, rural world of Civil War Unionists.  Hazy outlines of a makeshift structure put me in mind of the deserter hideouts in the North Carolina Piedmont woods, the swamps of Piney Woods Mississippi, and the Big Thicket forests of East Texas that inspired the essays contained within (to learn more about the book, click here).

My thanks to UNC Press, long known for the high quality of its publications and the highly effective “first impression” quality of it’s book jackets, for showcasing so beautifully The Long Shadow of the Civil War.

Vikki Bynum

11 replies »

  1. CW non-fiction book covers rarely have much thought put in them — the two mainstays are photographs (mostly ones we’ve all seen before) and painting/print reproductions. This one is a nice composition. It has shadows emanating from persons and place, and even a bridge from the past to the present.


  2. Thanks, Kevin and Drew! I am so pleased with the cover’s design and the mood that it creates, I just had to preview it. And Drew you’re right–the bridge suggests the continuum between past and present, the dominant theme in this collection of essays.



  3. This cover does indeed capture that “feeling” of the South–a certain inescapable oppressiveness of history (still) that is as oppressive as the August heat and unbearable summer humidity. Some things just don’t change.

    Congratulations to the artist and to the author! Maybe one day enough sunlight will penetrate the swamps to make the long shadow cast by the Civil War finally disappear. You are certainly doing your part to make that happen, Vikki. Looking forward to reading your book.


  4. Vicki,
    What a mysterious cover! Love the impressionistic qualities of the picture. The spanish moss draping all the trees makes an eerie curtain and what seems to be a child holding the hands of shadowy parents must allude to the generations of southerners your book will describe….I’m so looking forward to this read….what are the chances of acquiring a copy signed by the author?? If you will be in NC, anywhere close to good ole Montgomery County, I would like to see you/ get you to sign…if not, can you send me one? Just so you know, I have not given up, just on hold right now. I still plan to prove James Atkins is buried with the Hulins and place a stone for him, but no new info as of yet. Thanks again for your insight and for sharing.
    Kelly Atkins Hinson


  5. Thanks, Kelly. Yes, the UNC designer used the shadows to convey a sense of generations and family involvement in the war. And, as you’ve described beautifully, a sense of place.

    I certainly hope to visit NC once the book is released, but have no set date yet to do so. My first scheduled presentation on the book, which will include a booksigning, will be on March 21, 2010, at the Moncure Conway Foundation in Falmouth (near Fredericksburg), Virginia. I will be speaking specifically on the chapter “Occupied Women,” which includes many of your kinfolk.

    I know it’s a long drive, but it would be great if you and others came on over!



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