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Children and Youth during the Civil War Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814796078

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814796078.001.0001

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Thrills for Children

Thrills for Children

The Youth’s Companion, the Civil War, and the Commercialization of American Youth

(p.77) 5 Thrills for Children
Children and Youth during the Civil War Era

Paul B. Ringel

NYU Press

This chapter examines the proliferation of periodicals and books for children during and immediately after the Civil War, with special attention to the success of Boston children's weekly the Youth's Companion. During the course of the war, the Companion moved from ignoring the conflict to using it as an instrument to inspire moral introspection, and finally to presenting it as a moralistic drama suitable for both the instruction and entertainment of its young audience. By the 1870s, the paper reached a national audience of more than 100,000 mostly middle-class subscribers, and by the 1890s it had become one of the best-selling periodicals of any genre in the country, with a weekly circulation that allegedly reached over half a million.

Keywords:   Youth's Companion, Civil War, children, youth, children's periodicals

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