A couple weeks ago I linked to a video of Ron Paul lecturing a group about the Civil War and today I came across another segment from that same talk. It’s more of the same nonsense. I don’t know what is worse, not knowing any history or butchering it in the way that Paul does. He doesn’t seem to know the first thing about Jefferson, the Hartford Convention, the relative importance of the tariff as a cause of the war and even the fact that both the United States and the Confederacy instituted a draft.
What I find more troubling, however, is that someone like this has any interest in leading this country. I truly do not understand why someone who is this antagonistic about the role of the federal government would want to serve in its highest office. The ease with which people throw around words like nullification and secession disgusts me. In today’s climate it is used as little more than a scare tactic and reflects a defeatist attitude.
This morning I awoke to a pretty nasty private email from a reader who was disappointed that I did not take the time to respond. I certainly understand the frustration, but while I do my best to respond to as many blog comments as possible, I simply cannot respond to each and every private email that I receive. On average I receive somewhere around 20 emails a day and on some days it can double and even triple. It would be impossible for me to get anything constructive done if I responded to each and every email. That said, I do read your email messages and I do appreciate you taking the time to write. Thanks for your understanding.
First, a big shout out to my new friends at the Olde Colony Civil War Round Table in Dedham. I had a wonderful time last night. It was an enthusiastic crowd and they asked some excellent questions. The meeting was brought to order by the ringing of a bell that was used to signal the end of the war on Boston Common. Very, very cool. The Endicott Estate is an ideal place in which to give a talk and I look forward to my return in May to talk about the battle of the Crater.
Speaking of the Crater, I finished reviewing the publisher’s copy edits and finalized the chapter titles, which are as follows:
Chapter 1 – The Battle: “Until Every Negro Has Been Slaughtered”
Chapter 2 – The Lost Cause: Maintaining the Antebellum Hierarchy
Chapter 3 – Virginia’s Reconstruction: William Mahone, “The Hero of the Crater”
Chapter 4 – Reinforcing the Status Quo: Reenactment and Jim Crow
Chapter 5 – Whites Only: The Ascendency of An Interpretation
Chapter 6 – Competing Memories: Civil War and Civil Rights
Chapter 7 – Moving Forward: Integrating a Black Counter-Memory
Despite the release date on the book’s Amazon page it looks like the book will be available by June 1.