front cover of A Leaf of Voices
A Leaf of Voices
Stories of the American Civil War in the Words of Those Who Lived and Died, 1861-65
Jennifer McSpadden
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2014
During the American Civil the Wabash Intelligencer and the Wabash Plain Dealer frequently printed letters from Wabash County men serving in the Union army. The letter writers are a remarkable cast of characters: young and old, soldiers, doctors, ministers, officers, enlisted men, newspaper men, and a fifteen-year-old printers’ devil who enlisted as a drummer boy. These are not stories of generals or battle strategies; they are the stories of the ordinary soldiers and their everyday lives. They describe long tiring marches across state after state, crossing almost impossible terrain, facing shortages of rations and supplies, enduring extremes of weather where they froze one day and sweltered the next, and encountering guerrillas that harried the wagon trains. The correspondents wrote of walking over the bodies of fallen comrades and foes alike, of mules and their wagons sinking into muddy roads that became like quicksand, of shipwrecks, and of former slaves.

front cover of Listening to the Voices of the Dead
Listening to the Voices of the Dead
The 3-11 Tohoku Disaster Speaks
Isomae Jun'ichi
University of Michigan Press, 2024
Listening to the Voices of the Dead is an account of the author’s search for disquieted voices of the dead in the wake of the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku Disaster and his attempt to translate those voices for the living. Isomae Jun’ichi considers the disaster a challenge for outside observers to overcome, especially for practitioners of religion and religious studies. He chronicles the care and devotion for the dead shown by ordinary people, people displaced from their homes and loved ones. Drawing upon religious studies, Japanese history, postcolonial studies, and his own experiences during the disaster, Isomae uncovers historical symptoms brought to the surface by the traumas of disaster. Only by listening to the disquiet voices of the dead, translating them, and responding to them can we regain our true selves as well as offer peace to the spirits of the victims. While Listening to the Voices of the Dead focuses on this one event in Japanese history and memory, it captures a broadening critique at the heart of many movements responding to how increasing globalization impacts our sense of place and community.

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