I wonder if the Confederate Heritage folks will rally around Thomas Buhls, who earlier today tried to celebrate Confederate heritage in Indiana with a sign that read, “CELEBRATE YOUR WHITE HERITAGE.” I have no idea whether Mr. Buhls is a native southerner, but of course that shouldn’t matter much. Confederate heritage transcends race, gender, and region. Like Hunter Wallace, Buhls seems to embrace a narrative of the Confederacy that actually conforms to its history. That’s right, the Confederacy was organized as a slaveholding republic built on white supremacy that was forced to fight for its independence and failed. Buhls and Wallace are much closer to the views of Alexander Stephens and other pro-Confederate nationalists than most heritage types today who water down and distort this history and fantasize that the Confederacy was some kind of experiment in civil rights. While I find their embrace of white supremacy to be utterly appalling, at least it is grounded in something that reflects Confederate history.
I was hoping that yesterday’s post would not turn into another round of the same old back and forth over the cause of the war, but that is exactly what happened. Unfortunately, most of what is usually offered in such discussions lacks any serious analysis and/or context. I was hoping to encourage readers to share those books that have informed their understanding of the coming of secession and war. For what it’s worth, here are a few of my favorites, though I could just as easily have chosen five others.
- James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States)
- William Freehling, The Road to Disunion, Vol. 1: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854
- William Freehling, The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861
- Charles Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
- David Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861
Feel free to add to this list.
Well, I just finished reading through the page proofs for my Crater book. Now all that stands between me and a finished book is the index. I have the formatting guidelines in front of me, but I would love to know what is the best way to proceed from those of you who have done this before. I was going to take the traditional route and use index cards. One index card for each term and place them in alphabetical order. Seems simple enough. The only thing I would have to worry about is a surprise visit from Felix or Jeb.
This is likely the last time I will ask my readers for assistance with this project so thanks a bunch. I assure you that if I thought there was anything glamorous about publishing a book before this week it is a distant memory. Why exactly did I put myself through this?
To commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and Emancipation, the Gilder Lehrman Center’s 2012 David Brion Davis Lectures on the History of Slavery, Race, and Their Legacies features a roundtable discussion with five major historians and writers, moderated by GLC Director, David W. Blight. The group takes up questions of the changing character and controversies over the memory of the Civil War and Emancipation over the past 150 years, as well as dwell on the place of the conflict’s legacies in our own time, nationally and internationally.
I thought Ta-Nahesi Coates stole the show.