Return of ‘Military Campaigns of the Civil War’ Series

I’ve been a fan of Gary Gallagher’s edited series, Military Campaigns of the Civil War, from the beginning. The individual volumes introduced me to some of the most interesting historians in the field and went far in shaping what I know about Civil War military history and how I think about battles and campaigns. [click to continue…]

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Did Slavery Doom the Confederacy?

In this brief video clip Eric Foner talks with one of his graduate students about the crucial role slavery played in the formation and defeat of the Confederacy. Included is a reference to the debate surrounding the recruitment of slaves into the army. The reference to McCurry is Stephanie McCurry’s, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. This looks to be part of Foner’s ongoing MOOC course.

[Uploaded to YouTube on November 22, 2014]

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Treating Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief

Steven Hahn reviewed James McPherson’s new book about Jefferson Davis in yesterday’s New York Times. It includes nothing out of the ordinary from a typical academic review in a popular publication until you reach the very end. [click to continue…]

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“America Is Not the Greatest Country in the World”

A couple weeks ago this short clip from the HBO series, “The Newsroom”, was posted by a couple of my Facebook friends. I’ve never seen the show so I don’t know much of anything about the storyline beyond the obvious. The topic of American Exceptionalism has come up on this blog before and it always seems to bring out emotional responses from my readers and from other bloggers, who can’t understand why I find the whole question of this nation’s exceptionalism to be uninteresting and even meaningless. [click to continue…]

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“Every 3.6 Minutes”

I’ve always struggled with the way I teach the history of slavery to high school students. Pushing my students toward what I hope is a meaningful overview of slavery’s evolution and eventual demise inevitably overshadows change over time, regional differences, and even runs the risk of minimizing the horror of slavery itself. This last category is especially difficult to convey. [click to continue…]

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