New To the Civil War Memory Library, 08/02

W. Caleb McDanielMy reading has been all over the place this summer, though much of it has been centered on the history of the Holocaust and Germany, which I will teach for the first time this year. I’ve also decided as a new transplant to Boston that it is time to look more closely at the abolitionist movement.

Joseph Ellis, Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence, (Knopf, 2013).

Julie Roy Jeffrey, Abolitionists Remember: Antislavery Autobiographies and the Unfinished Work of Emancipation, (University of North Carolina Press, 2008).

Barbara Krauthamer, Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South, (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

W. Caleb McDaniel, The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform, (Louisiana State University Press, 2013).

Joanne Pope Melish, Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and “Race” in New England, 1780-1860, (Cornell University Press, 1998).

Henry McNeal Turner, Freedom’s Witness: The Civil War Correspondence of Henry McNeal Turner, (reprint, University of West Virginia Press, 2013).

Bruce Watson, Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream, (Penguin 2005).

Germany and the Holocaust

Richard Evans, The Third Reich at War, (Penguin, 2008).

Saul Friedlander, Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945, (Harper, 2009).

Jeffrey Herf, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys, (Harvard University Press, 1997).

Ian Kershaw, The “Hitler Myth”: Image and Reality in the Third Reich, (Oxford University Press, 1987).

Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, (Harvard University Press, 2003).

Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, (Crown, 2011).

12 thoughts on “New To the Civil War Memory Library, 08/02

  1. Patrick Young

    I grew up in a family where we sang “Bread and Roses”. Women’s lives were sweated in those dark Satanic mills for the culture and cultivation of Boston’s elite.

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    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      I bought it thinking that it was about Lowell, which I recently visited with my wife. It’s really well written and opens up a piece of history that I am not so familiar with.

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            1. Kevin Levin Post author

              Touche. :-) You’ve got me thinking. Has anything been written on Civil War veterans who joined the labor movement?

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              1. pat young

                Albert Parsons, husband of feminist heroine Lucy Parsons, was a Confederate who led the 8 hour movement in Chicago and was executed after Haymarket. He is the best known.

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              2. Patrick Young

                Lucy Parsons was born Lucia Eldine Gonzalez was born in 1853 in Texas, and was likely a slave.

                It would be interesting to see how the impact of veterans of the Civil War influenced the growth in labor violence. Obviously Pinkerton played a big role in the escalation, but I would be surprised if the role of vets was not a major factor.

                When we consider other post-conflict societies like Germany in the 1920s or El Salvador today, we immediately recognize the veteran as a contributor to increased deadly violence. It strikes me that both the “Wild West” and heightened labor violence in the 1870s may owe something to the Civil War experience.

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  2. Brad

    The Evans books and the Friedlander books are very good, particularly volume 1 of the Evans book. If you want to understand the roots of anti semitism and how Hitler rose to power, volume 1 is a must. It adds to what we already know.

    As I mentioned once The Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million by Daniel Mendolsohn is a superb book.

    Martin Gilbert’s The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War is very good but I couldn’t finish it; it was too depressing.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Hi Brad,

      Thanks for the recommendations. At some point I will get around to reading volume 1 of Evans. There is just so much to read on this subject. Thankfully, I think I’ve gone through enough to get started this year. I can take advantage of an incredibly rich curriculum for the first year and then slowly work in some of my own ideas. Should be an interesting, but challenging experience.

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      1. Patrick Young

        I read the trilogy and really got the impression that once Hitler seized power, it was pretty much all over. None of the other political actors had any idea how brutal things would get and how quickly normal politics would end.

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      2. Don Capps

        All of the three volumes in the Evans’ Third Reich series are very good and much better than the majority of what is out there, but I would also recommend another book by Evans if you have not read it as of yet: Lying About Hitler (Basic Books, 2001). It concerns the work Evans did as the Expert Witness for the David Irving vs. Penguin Books & Prof. Deborah Lipstadt trial, in which Irving sued Lipstatdt for claiming that he was a Holocaust denier in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (1993). The Evans book on the Irving-Lipstadt trial provides an excellent case as to why history and historians matter, as well as why historiography is important.

        Something from the book that is very pertinent to here is a quotation from the RAF historian, L.A. Jackets, that appears in the book: “It is practically impossible to kill a myth once it has become widespread and reprinted in other books all over the world.” (p. 169)

        Reply

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