Praise for The Families’ Civil War

“Pinheiro reveals past, present, and future struggles over access to familial information and their struggle for recognition in the national public consciousness while deepening scholarly understanding.” (Dr. Hilary N. Green, author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890)

“Pinheiro’s brilliantly researched recreation of African American life in the nineteenth and twentieth century, a long Civil War indeed, portrays the African American family’s beauty and fragility.” (Dr. Barbara Gannon, author of The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic)

“The Families’ Civil War accomplishes the difficult—but imperative—task of humanizing these soldiers by reminding readers where they came from and who they were fighting for.” (Dr. Robert Greene, II, co-editor of Invisible No More: The African American Experience at the University of South Carolina)

“Pinheiro convincingly shows the personal sacrifices and economic strain military service had on working-poor Black families. In addition to economic deprivation, working-poor Black families also had to contend with the real possibility that their loved ones could die, which took an emotional toll on all involved.” (Dr. Brandi C. Brimmer, author of Claiming Union Widowhood: Race, Respectability, and Poverty in the Post-Emancipation South)

Best Civil War Books of 2022, Civil War Monitor

“The focus on native-born, African-American Philadelphians and their families provides sharp interpretations of both challenges faced during the war and the hopes and dreams of these families invested in a reunited nation.” (Kevin M. Levin, author of Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth)

“Many of the stories Pinheiro tells are, unfortunately, only glimpses of disappeared lives. But to read them feels like standing as a witness to the unequal sacrifices forced upon the Black families who preserved our union.” (Dr. Erin L. Thompson, Associate Professor of Art Crime at John Jay College of Criminal Justice)

“The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice…is a well-researched, cogently written, and original longitudinal study social history of freeborn African American families in Philadelphia from 1850 to the 1920s.” (Dr. John David Smith, the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the
University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

“The research is first-rate, and the stories recalled to life here are important, illuminating, and, sadly, too often tragic.” (Dr. Douglas Egerton, author of Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America)

“The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice is one of those books that serves as a corrective to the grand historical narratives of the American Civil War.” (Meg Groeling, author of First Fallen: The Life of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the North’s First Civil War Hero)

“A fine book, The Families’ Civil War” enhances our understanding of the war’s lived consequences in general, and the African American military experience in particular.” (Dr. Brian Matthew Jordan, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War)

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