New to the Civil War Memory Library, 10/23

I am calling for a year-long moratorium on Civil War publishing from my favorite historians.  There is just too much to read. Give us a chance to catch up.

William J. Cooper, We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 (Knopf, 2012).

Guy R. Hasegawa, Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012).

Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein, The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine (M.E. Sharpe, 2012).

Joe Mozingo, The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, A Search for Family (Free Press, 2012).

Jonathan Sarna,When General Grant Expelled the Jews(Schoken, 2012).

John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid (Harvard University Press, 2012).

John F. Witt, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (Free Press, 2012).

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Free Katie Now!

This kid is awesome!

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Interrogating the Past

I’ve grown tired of the bitter debate over what our students know or don’t know about American history.  Yes, we want them to know when the Civil War took place, be able to identify key historical terms, people and places.  All too often these discussions function under the assumption that our parents and grandparents somehow knew more than our students today.  I have no idea where this assumption comes from, but I’ve not seen much evidence to support it; in fact, I would put my money on this generation knowing much more about a wider array of subjects than any previous generation.

We can cram them full of facts in our history classes like a sponge or we can emphasize that the content of our course is only as meaningful and significant as the questions posed beforehand.  Today in class I was reminded of just how important it is to teach our students how to ask questions.  This week we started looking at the introduction and evolution of slavery in British North America.  By the end of the less students will write their first thesis-driven essay on why slavery thrived particularly in the Southern colonies.  To that end we are looking at a wide selection of primary and secondary sources, including a short selection from Edmund Morgan’s American Slavery, American Freedom. [...oh and have I said how much I love being back in the classroom?]

[click to continue…]

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The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Flaggers

I had no idea that there is now a chapter of Flaggers in North Carolina.  It would be a stretch to draw any type of formal connection with the Flaggers in Virginia. It’s the same inane rhetoric about a subject they apparently know very little about.  In this case, it’s a new exhibit about Lincoln on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  These people have nothing to say about the actual exhibit beyond vague accusations of Lincoln as a war criminal.  Kirk Lyons (misspelled by the media as Lion) and H.K. Edgerton were in attendance, but all they can manage is the same old dog and pony show that has become their trademark.

It looks like some of the students had a good laugh at their expense.

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Thinking About My Next Book Project

Some people prefer to outline their book projects, but me, I prefer a visual road map. As you can see, a great many things will go boom in the course of the book.  Yeah, it’s a slow day.

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