Oct 16, 2013
Fall books: Reviews
The Battle Hymn of the Republic, by John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis
How did Julia Ward Howe’s pro–federal Union and abolitionist-inspired “Battle Hymn of the Republic” become the most recognizable American anthem of the 20th century? Why is it embraced by liberals and conservatives, radicals and businesspeople, whites, blacks and beyond? The story of the song, detailed exquisitely in this book by John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis—respectively an esteemed professor of American history at Harvard and a newly minted Ph.D. from Columbia University—is more than a fascinating picture of the United States from the 19th century to the present.