Book reviews can be tricky. You have to strike the right balance between covering its strengths and weaknesses as well as resisting the temptation to impose your own agenda onto the author. In other words, review the book that the author wrote and not the one that you would have written. I’ve written my share Read more

What’s in a Rank?

I am hearing more and more from people who believe that we should start referring to Confederate officers by the ranks they attained in the United States Army before the Civil War. This is part of a broader debate over language in relationship to the Civil War and specifically over the extent to which the Read more

Stephen Budiansky, Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas (Norton, 2019). John Harris, The Last Slave Ship: New York and the End of the Middle Passage (Yale University Press, 2021). Elizabeth Hinton, America on Fire: The Untold History of Political Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s (Liveright, 2021). Kelly D. Mezurek Read more

I welcome the changes announced yesterday by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. Relocate the Confederate flags to a less prominent location in the park. Build a state-of-the-art museum/educational center to highlight the complicated history of the monument as a Lost Cause symbol, rallying place for the Ku Klux Klan, and symbol of resistance against civil Read more

I was recently asked by an academic press for my opinion on whether a new edition of Noah Andre Trudeau’s book Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865 should be published. Below is my report. Noah Andre Trudeau published Like Men of War in 1998. It is a narrative driven and Read more

Chet Bennett, Resolute Rebel: General Rosell S. Ripley, Charleston’s Gallant Defender (The University of South Carolina Press, 2017). Anthea Butler, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America (The University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Karen L. Cox, No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice (The University of North Read more

Update: The chair has been returned undamaged. I certainly didn’t see this one coming. This week a group in Selma, Alabama turned a monument honoring Jefferson Davis into a toilet. Now there is a sentence I never thought I would write on this blog. :-) We’ve seen headlines such as “Ransom Note Threatens to Make Read more

I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that A Glorious Fate: The Life and Legacy of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw is now under advance contract with The University of North Carolina Press. From the beginning I had little doubt that I wanted to work once again with Mark Simpson-Vos and the rest of the UNC Read more