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Humor and the Civil War Presidents

Humor and the Civil War Presidents

Chapter:
(p.16) (p.17) Chapter One Humor and the Civil War Presidents
Source:
Civil War Humor
Author(s):
Cameron C. Nickels
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737479.003.0002

The ultimate purpose of war rhetoric is to justify armed conflict, and the leader of the enemy becomes the living embodiment of everything wrong with the other side. This chapter describes humorous portrayals of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln in print media. These included portrayals of them as drunks, wannabe kings, and in league with the devil (at times all three at once)—personal attacks aimed at discrediting the political and social agendas for which they purportedly stood.

Keywords:   Civil War, humor, war rhetoric, armed conflict

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