Slavery, War, and a New Birth of Freedom: 1840s-1877, a new title in the six-title series History Through Literature: American Voices, American Themes, provides insights and analysis regarding the history, literature, and cultural climate of the eras of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. It brings together informational text and primary documents that cover notable historic events and trends, authors, literary works, social movements, and cultural and artistic themes.
Slavery, War, and a New Birth of Freedom begins with an interdisciplinary Chronology that identifies, defines, and places in context the notable historical events, literary works, authors' lives, and cultural landmarks of the period. This is followed by a comprehensive overview essay that summarizes the era's major historical trends, social movements, cultural and artistic themes, literary voices, and enduring works as reflections of each other and the spirit of the times.
The core content comprises 20-30 articles on representative writers of the period, along with excerpts from essential literary works that highlight a historical theme, sociocultural movement, or the confluence of the two. These excerpts serve the Common Core emphasis on "informational texts from a broad range of cultures and periods", including "stories, drama, poetry, and literary nonfiction".