I had my doubts, but the University Press of Kentucky came through and just released my first book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder, in paperback. They did a really good job with keeping the overall cover design of the hardcover, including the wrap around art work along the spine. [click to continue…]
What follows is a short list of books for those of you who have been following the recent removal of monuments in New Orleans, as well as the broader debate, and are looking for suggestions for further reading.
This list includes titles that focus specifically on Civil War monuments, but also more broadly to include other periods in American history that have been memorialized as well as the international context.
This is certainly not intended as an exhaustive list. [click to continue…]
I don’t want this weekend to slip by without a quick comment about Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s address on Friday. The New Orleans mayor chose the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument to deliver remarks about why he believed it was justified. It is a remarkable speech on a number of levels. [click to continue…]
I know that for some of my historian and public historian friends watching the city of New Orleans take down its Civil War/Reconstruction era monuments was not easy to watch. Our tendency is to treat monuments as artifacts and the broader landscape as an opportunity to learn about how communities remember their collective past. As someone who has used monuments extensively over the years I sympathize with this position. [click to continue…]
This has been a fascinating couple of weeks in the world of Civil War memory. After removing the Liberty Place monument on April 24 the city of New Orleans removed three additional monuments to Jefferson Davis (May 11) and P.G.T. Beauregard (May 16-17). Yesterday Robert E. Lee was removed from high atop his perch in full daylight. [click to continue…]
Update: An extended version of this post is now available at Smithsonian Magazine.
A number of things happened today that has me thinking about Richmond, Virginia and the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments.
First, I had a conversation with a reporter from The Richmond Times-Dispatch about this debate. We talked about a number of things before we got around to the question of whether Richmond will follow other cities in deciding to remove monuments to the Confederacy and Confederate leaders. I suggested that it is unlikely. [click to continue…]
Yesterday a group of protesters gathered in my old home of Charlottesvile, Virginia to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument. The group was led by Richard Spencer, who popularized the term, “alt-right.”
Last night Spencer led a relatively small group in a torchlight ceremony that reminded many people of similar ceremonies held by the Nazi party in the the 1930s. [click to continue…]
I’ve said before that the handful of Facebook pages devoted to pushing the myth of the black Confederate soldier has been an incredible source for primary sources from newspaper articles to images, including the one featured in this post. Of course, the problem is with how administrators and members of these pages interpret these sources. [click to continue…]