As part of the month-long celebration of Civil War Memory’s 4th Birthday I’ve decided to give a little back in the form of a book giveaway. It’s easy to enter. Just leave a comment after the post and in a few words share why you read Civil War Memory. Even my critics are invited to enter and share their thoughts (as long as the comments are not offensive) and I promise to be fair in choosing a winner. I will write the names out on slips of paper and have my wife draw a winner. It’s as simple as that. As you can see, the book is Gary Gallagher’s, Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten (University of North Carolina Press, 2008). I will leave the comments open until next Friday (11/20) and will select a winner over the weekend. Good luck.
Update: A few of you have mentioned that you already own this book. Well, if that is the case then it looks like I will have to offer an alternative title. It’s a secret
Head on over to Civil Warriors for Brooks Simpson’s response to a series of posts at TOCWOC which purports to analyze the “politically correct mythology” [PCM] that pervades academic Civil War history. You can start with James Durney’s “analysis” and then follow up with Brett Schulte’s two-part response [here and here]. I am going to let Simpson speak for me on this one: Continue reading
One of the sessions that I attended at last week’s SHA was a roundtable on Civil War Memory and the Sesquicentennial. It was an excellent panel consisting of Gaines Foster, Suzanna Lee, John Neff, and Robert Cook. The presentations were short which left plenty of time for conversation. The question of how to attract African Americans to sesquicentennial celebrations received a great deal of attention from a number of the panelists, especially Prof. Cook, whose study of the Civil War Centennial highlights the extent to which this particular group was ignored. Prof. Cook suggested that what is needed this time around is a much more inclusive commemoration that does justice to the “Emancipationist Legacy” of the conflict. Well, who would disagree with that? Here in Virginia we’ve already held one major conference on the eve of the Civil War. Panelists touched on questions of race and slavery throughout the various sessions and future conferences will focus even more on the end of slavery in Virginia and its aftermath. There will be no shortage of talk about slavery, race, the home front and every other subject under the sun.
From the beginning of its formation, one of the central goals for the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission has been educational outreach. It is doing this in a number of ways from organizing conferences to creating mobile exhibits that will travel throughout the state between 2011 and 2015. Included in this is the creation of educational materials suitable for use in k-12 classrooms. This fall Virginia PBS stations will air “Virginia in the Civil War”. This was a joint project between the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission and Virginia Tech’s Center for Civil War Studies. The documentary is three hours in length and will be broken down into nine 20 minute segments. I couldn’t be more pleased with the commission’s focus on educational materials and this documentary, which will be made available to every public and private school in the state, will surely come in handy.
I‘ve been following this story out of Tennessee [and here] involving a local chapter of the UDC and SCV and their plans to honor 18 so-called black Confederates. I was actually contacted by the author of this article for my position on this issue, which you can read. The author does a pretty good job of presenting the various perspectives. There is always the danger that the reporter will take something out of context or simply fail to follow a line of argument. In this case the author, Skyler Swisher, does a pretty good job. The only thing I take issue with is having my view juxtaposed against Wood’s as two competing interpretations. Simply put, Wood and the UDC are doing poor history. There is really no interpretation to take issue with since it is fraught with basic factual and interpretive mistakes.