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Film NationHollywood Looks at U.S. History, Revised Edition$
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Robert Burgoyne

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816642915

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816642915.001.0001

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Race and Nation in Glory

Race and Nation in Glory

(p.16) 1 Race and Nation in Glory
Film Nation

Robert Burgoyne

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers the Civil War film Glory in terms of the competing forces of race and national construction. It shows how the struggle for racial visibility and recognition that culminates in the spectacular assault and massacre in the film’s final sequence is complicated by another, competing message, which foregrounds the almost suicidal costs of aligning identity from below and identity form above. Glory conveys a particularly complex understanding of the way racial and cultural identity is bound up with the national narrative. The film also explores the more fractious subject of the failure of social movements to cut across racial identities, emphasizing the fear and hatred of the other as the constant feature of national experience. It makes evident the limits of its own nationalist solution to racial difference and antagonism, projecting a national story that is in part a collective narrative of social loss.

Keywords:   Civil War, Glory, race, national construction, racial visibility, racial recognition, cultural identity, national narrative, national experience, social loss

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