More than 60,000 books have been published on the Civil War. Most Americans, though, get their ideas about the war--why it was fought, what was won, what was lost--from movies, television, and other popular media. Rewned Civil War historian Gary Gallagher guides readers through the stories told in recent film and art, showing how they have both reflected and influenced the political, social, and racial currents of their times. Too often these popular portrayals overlook many of the very ideas that motivated the generation that fought the war. The most influential perspective for the Civil War generation, says Gallagher, is almost entirely absent from the Civil War stories being told today.