Skip to main content

Mahin, Dean B. 1925-

Mahin, Dean B. 1925-

PERSONAL:

Born 1925. Education: B.A., M.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Charlotte, NC.

CAREER:

Has worked for about forty years in the U.S. Department of State and for federal information and foreign assistance agencies.

WRITINGS:

Soviet Russia: A Guidebook for Tourists, Governmental Affairs Institute (Washington, DC), 1959.

Olive Branch and Sword: The United States and Mexico, 1845-1848, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 1997.

One War at a Time: The International Dimensions of the American Civil War, Brassey (Washington, DC), 1999.

The Blessed Place of Freedom: Europeans in Civil War America, Brassey (Washington, DC), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS:

Having worked for decades with the U.S. Department of State and federal agencies concerning international affairs, Dean B. Mahin applied his interest and experience in this area to two books concerning the Civil War: One War at a Time: The International Dimensions of the American Civil War and The Blessed Place of Freedom: Europeans in Civil War America. In the former, the author explores how both the Union and Confederacy related politically to Mexico, Canada, England, and European nations during the war, as well as offering some postwar analysis. Unfortunately, according to Judith Anne Fenner Gentry in the Journal of Southern History, the book contains "serious errors of fact and does not provide citations for much of the text," and it fails "to utilize important studies" as resources. Thus, although the critic felt the book contains an "impressive array of printed primary sources" it "has not presented sufficient evidence for its interesting thesis."

In The Blessed Place of Freedom, Mahin endeavors to explain the influence of different ethnic groups in America who fought in the Civil War and to describe their unique experiences within it. Including twenty-five chapters that discuss each of the groups Mahin feels are significant, the "structure makes this a useful reference source," according to Adam I.P. Smith in the Journal of Southern History. Smith, however, felt that this "encyclopedic approach" results in a glossing over of some important divisions, such as the cultural differences between Catholic and Protestant Irishmen, and Welshmen versus other groups from Britain. "Nor, in any case, is it always clear why and how an individual's country of origin matters," stated Smith, "or how it relates to other sources of identity such as class or religion. In some cases the identification of ‘national’ groups can obscure as much as it illuminates." Christian B. Keller, writing in the Journal of Military History, summarized Mahin's book as being "admittedly the best book yet" on the subject, but one that does not "critically address and/or contribute to the scholarly debate about ethnics in the Civil War." Smith concluded: "Mahin's work … sets out an intriguing set of questions, even if it does not always answer them fully."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Journal of Military History, October, 2003, Christian B. Keller, review of The Blessed Place of Freedom: Europeans in Civil War America, pp. 1297-1299.

Journal of Southern History, August, 2001, Judith Anne Fenner Gentry, review of One War at a Time: The International Dimensions of the American Civil War, p. 679; February, 2004, Adam I.P. Smith, review of The Blessed Place of Freedom, p. 156.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mahin, Dean B. 1925-." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mahin, Dean B. 1925-." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/mahin-dean-b-1925

"Mahin, Dean B. 1925-." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved September 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/mahin-dean-b-1925

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.