In this final work of a long and distinguished career, historian Bertram Wyatt-Brown looks at the theme of honour--a subject on which he was an acknowledged expert--and places it in a broader historical and cultural context than ever before. Wyatt-Brown begins with the contention that honour cannot be understood without considering the role of humiliation, which not only sets victor apart from vanquished but drives the search for vindication that is integral to notions of honour. The American conception of honour is further deepened by issues of race. The author turns to the slave South to show how white and black concepts of honour differed from and contradicted each other, illuminating honour's elusive but powerful role in our society. He then goes on to explore these themes within a wide range of military and political contexts, from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm, providing new insights on how honour drove decision making during many defining events in our history and how the consequences continue to reverberate in the American mind.
The late Bertram Wyatt-Brown was Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Florida, USA and the author of numerous works of southern history, including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South.