Monday, December 31, 2007

Books & Music to Help You Visit the Past

Here is a guide I wrote on for folks who love to read about the past.
Happy Old Year!!

So you'd like to...

Live in the Past

A guide by -------- "amateur social historian" (Michigan United States)

Products sampled from this guide:

Time Travel: Let's face it - a good many of us would chuck today's modern society and choose to live in a more simpler time, right? Or would we...? Hmmmm. Well, there are ways to find out if living in the past is for you. The choice is yours, my friend. I have found numerous opportunities to time travel - with the option of returning back to my own time - and would like to share with fellow historians (amateur or acredited), social history fans, or time traveler wannabees my secret.

Let's begin by checking out the American Civil War era for soldier and civilian, shall we? The following books should help to transport you back to the era of the War between the States:

The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860-1876, shows life as it was and includes the most minute details.

Firestorm at Gettysburg: Civilian Voices, is in the language of the time, written by those who were there.

An Introduction to Civil War Civilians, shows what the civilians did during the war effort, as well as the importance of religion in daily life.

The Civil War: An Illustrated History,

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States) One of my favorites on the battles,

Who Wore What?: Women's Wear 1861-1865,

Civil War Gentlemen: 1860'S Apparel Arts & Uniforms,

Civil War Era Etiquette: Martine's Handbook & Vulgarisms in Conversation.

But, if you prefer the era BEFORE the Civil War... These few books will truly give you the opportunity to visit pre-Civil War America in the 19th century.

Here are a few ways to visit that period:

The Reshaping of Everyday Life: 1790-1840 (Everyday Life in America),

A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840, A great kid-oriented social history book written in story form with lots of facts thrown in.

Everyday Life in the United States Before the Civil War: 1830-1860,

Remember the Distance That Divides Us: The Family Letters of Philadelphia Quaker abolitionist and Michigan pioneer Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, 1830-1842, which gives, in the form of correspondence between family members, wonderful descriptions of life 'on the frontier' as it was.

Diary of an Early American Boy, accurately showing life as it was for everyday folk of 1805 by usage of (and expansion on) an actual diary of the time.

Now, for those of you who would like to head back to the Colonial period right up into the early years of the United States as a nation, here's what I suggest:

Home Life in Colonial Days giving minute details of daily life not found anywhere else.

Everyday Life in Colonial America,

The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford History of the United States) Extensive accounts on the American Revolutionary War.

Everyday Life in Early America,

Your Travel Guide to Colonial America (Passport to History) excellent for middle schoolers but great for adults as well.

As Various As Their Land: The Everyday Lives of Eighteenth-Century Americans.

And for overviews of the three eras listed above, here are a few more time travel tricks to complete the picture:

The Seasons of America Past,

Where We Lived: Discovering the Places We Once Called Home Describes the houses and homes and what each room was used for. One of my favorite social history books. This is GREAT!

American Yesterday (Americana), which gives wonderful details of the daily life adventures generally not covered elsewhere.

Our Vanishing Landscape (Dover Books on Americana), and

Forgotten Arts and Crafts. This last book is a must for home life and work life.

You must also know something about American history in your travels.

These next items should help:

Witnessing America: The Library of Congress Book of First-Hand Accounts of Public Life,

American Journey: The Quest for Liberty to 1877 a school text book that is not politically correct (available pretty cheap if purchased used through Amazon!).

And finally

The Story of America.

Let's not forget the musical sounds you should be aware of:

Stephen Foster Songs: Parlor & Minstrel Songs, Dance Tunes & Instrumentals,

Front Porch Favorites,

HARD ROAD: Favorite Camp Songs of the Civil War,

Colonial Traditions hard to get but well worth it for Colonial music

More Songs and Music from Gettysburg, and

Early American Roots will provide you with period listening pleasure.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot - three books you will need for cooking, and one for home remedies:

The First American Cookbook: A Facsimile of "American Cookery," 1796 for the colonial period,

Early American Cookery: "The Good Housekeeper," 1841 for just before the Civil War, and

Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping for just after the Civil War era (still works for the 1860's).

And here's your book of remedies for cleaning and curing.

The American Frugal Housewife

I hope this time-travel information helps you to enjoy your travels to the past!!