Gary W. Gallagher on Command Relationships During the Civil War

Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia, discusses “Presidents and Generals: Command Relationships during the Civil War” as part of the John Marshall International Center for the Study of Statesmanship 2011-2012 lecture series at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Nov. 4, 2011.  Gallagher was introduced by my M.A. thesis adviser, Robert Kenzer.

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The Influence of the Confederate Flag on Perceptions of Race

White Youth Holding Confederate Flag During 1965 Selma March

Joyce Ehrlinger, E. Ashby Plant, Richard P. Eibach, Corey J. Columb, Joanna L. Goplen, Jonathan W. Kunstman, David A. Butz, “How Exposure to the Confederate Flag Affects Willingness to Vote for Barack Obama,” Political Pyschology (February 2011): 131-46.

Abstract: Leading up to the 2008 U.S. election, pundits wondered whether Whites, particularly in Southern states, were ready to vote for a Black president. The present paper explores how a common Southern symbol—the Confederate flag—impacted willingness to vote for Barack Obama. We predicted that exposure to the Confederate flag would activate negativity toward Blacks and result in lowered willingness to vote for Obama. As predicted, participants primed with the Confederate flag reported less willingness to vote for Obama than those primed with a neutral symbol. The flag did not affect willingness to vote for White candidates. In a second study, participants primed with the Confederate flag evaluated a hypothetical Black target more negatively than controls. These results suggest that exposure to the Confederate flag results in more negative judgments of Black targets. As such, the prevalence of this flag in the South may have contributed to a reticence for some to vote for Obama because of his race.  [Read the Entire Article]

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Eric Foner on Lincoln and American Slavery

The first part of this interview is quite interesting as Foner reflects on his personal background and its influence on his scholarship.   His new book on Lincoln and slavery is now available in paperback and well worth reading.

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The Confederacy Has Risen Again

Sketch of MOC exhibit at Appomattox

Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know this from those folks who proclaim themselves defenders of “Southern Heritage.”  Many of these people are preoccupied with silly battles surrounding the display of the Confederate flag.  Anyone who follows this nauseating debate can see that the pro-flag forces are on the losing side of history.  Whether they are willing to acknowledge it or not, the majority of Americans do not want to see the Confederate flag in public spaces and supported with public dollars.  As the title of the post suggests, however, there is reason to celebrate.

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Rhode Island Civil War Round Table

Wall Mural, Coster Avenue, Depicting Hays' and Avery's Brigades' attack on Coster's Brigade (Painting by Mark Dunkelman and Johan Bjurman)

Tomorrow I have the honor of presenting a talk to the Rhode Island Civil War Round Table as part of their annual gala dinner.  Historian Mark Dunkelman was kind enough to invite me.  Hopefully, most of you are familiar with Mark’s scholarship.  He is the author of Brothers One And All: Esprit De Corps in a Civil War Regiment, which I think is one of the finest regimental studies ever written.  His next book, Marching With Sherman: Through Georgia and the Carolinas With the 154th New York will also be published by LSU Press.  Mark was kind enough to invite me to his house to spend a few hours exploring his extensive collection of 154th New York artifacts.  That is going to be a real treat.

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