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The Printer's Kiss: The Life and Letters of a Civil War Newspaperman and His Family, Patricia A. Donohoe, editor

Historian and journalism professor David Bulla, in the Indiana Magazine of History (March 2016), commends the book for its "treasure trove of letters" that reveal what life was like for a small-town editor and his family at a crucial moment in American history. The book, he says, "succeeds in developing the nature and status of journalism during the American Civil War, through the works of an ordinary newspaperman and those of his wife. It was a time when almost all newspapers were located in small cities or towns. . . . {and} were vital to the public discourse that brought the Civil War–and its major issues, including slavery–to the forefront." ...READ FULL REVIEW.

According to reviewer Miriam Kahn in the Fall 2015 OHIOana, "The Printer's Kiss is a readable account of life before and during the Civil War. The letters, along with Donohoe's explanations, draw readers in the lives of . . . articulate Ohioans who wrote constantly to one another through good times and bad." She also writes that the letters "provide great insight into familial relationships, letter-writing styles, and marital relationships." ... READ FULL REVIEW.

Jeff Patrick, in "Ohio Couple's Letters Before & During War, " compliments this "interesting look at the complex lives of a Midwestern printer and his family" as another fine contribution to Kent State's 'Civil War in the North' series." See Civil War News (December 2014), page 31 ... READ FULL REVIEW.

Matthew Perreault, in "An Intimate Look at a Single Civil War Experience," praises the book for its "intensely intimate" and "powerful narrative" and as "a fantastic collection of primary source material." See Civil War Book Reviews (Winter 2015) ... READ FULL REVIEW.

George C. Rable commends the book for its admirable success as "a tale of family turmoil" in the context of a "quite good and often complicated history." See The Civil War Monitor (11/26/2014) ... READ FULL REVIEW.

Sigrid Anderson Cordell endorses the book as "a welcome addition to the body of published Civil War narratives" in its "revealing view of wartime in Ohio" and notes the book's particularly interesting backstory of how the letters "were cherished and passed down within a family and finally made available to the public." See American Studies (Volume 54, Number 1, 2015), pp. 174-175 ... READ FULL REVIEW.


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