No surprise given that Annette Gordon-Reed seems to be rounding up all of the major history book awards for her recent study, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Although I read this book I thought that Thavolia Glymph should have won for Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge University Press, 2008), which focuses on the relations of southern black and white women. The most interesting aspect of the study is her analysis of the use of violence by women of the planter elite against enslaved women. Both books are well worth your time. Congratulations once again to Professor Gordon-Reed.
In our last class we discussed the importance of providing hyperlinks when responding to another blogger. First, it is intellectually honest to do so; it provides context and allows the reader to judge for herself as to whether your criticisms are warranted; and it prevents readers from concluding that you are simply engaging in a bitter/personal attack for reasons unknown.
Today’s lesson will focus on the posting of comments by disgruntled readers whose commentary addresses a subject on another blog. We will focus specifically on a comment that had been deemed inappropriate for publication, usually for reasons that are apparent in the comment itself. Consider the following example. The first thing that you will notice is that the comment has absolutely nothing to do with the post under which it is located. Again, no context is provided by the blog host to explain to his readers why the comment made it through. The reader is left to wonder why it has been posted at all. In this example, however, a third party is referenced in the comment who happens to be another blogger and a frequent commenter. Notice that this reader now has to defend himself apart from the narrative thread in which the discussion evolved. That is unfortunate. However, the most important reason why one should avoid this practice is because it prevents readers from concluding that you are simply engaging in a bitter/personal attack for reasons unknown.
See you next time when we will discuss…
This week’s installment takes us to the end of Part I in Crocker’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War. With Fort Sumter fired upon and Lincoln’s call for troops issued, Crocker leaves us with this little gem about the South and a looming war:
It was its martial prowess–its men born to the saddle and to arms, the military tradition of its aristocrats, and the raw-boned rebel yell of its small farmers, workingmen, and frontiersmen in which the South trusted. It had never claimed to be an industrial power like the North. It had disdained Northern efficiency in favor of manners and charm. Yet when Lincoln’s armies crossed the Potomac, the South was ready with serried ranks of armed, equipped, and uniformed men led by more than competent generals. The Federals would find that Southern fighting prowess was no trifling matter. (35)
Indeed. Well, there you go. Another installment from a book written for people who have very little interest in history.
Back in May I posted a short video of my Civil War library and related studies. You can see that I am slowly running out of space and, as a result, I have drastically cut back on the purchasing of new titles. Most of what comes my way, however, are complimentary copies from publishers and authors who hope to have their books reviewed on this site. I am going to update the list of books received every few weeks.
William Blair and Karen F. Younger, eds., Lincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).
Lacy K. Ford, Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Judith Giesberg, Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Homefront (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).
Jeffrey W. McClurken, Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia, (University of Virginia Press, 2009).
Scott L. Mingus, The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 (Louisiana State University Press, 2009).
Barton A. Myers, Executing Daniel Bright: Race, Loyalty, and Guerilla Violence in A Coastal Carolina Community, 1861-1865 (Louisiana University Press, 2009). Note: This book has already won the 2009 Jules and Frances Landry Award.
Stratford Hall will be hosting what promises to be an exciting and educational weekend seminar on Robert E. Lee as military commander on January 22-24, 2010. The program will be led by historians, Gary Gallagher and Peter Carmichael. The weekend includes a trip to Gettysburg for a tour of the battlefield. Not only are Gallagher and Carmichael two of the most respected historians in the field, but they are also extremely knowledgeable battlefield guides. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with both so do not miss this opportunity. Gallagher will present a talk on Friday evening, titled “The Most Important Confederate: General Lee’s Impact on the Battlefield and the Home Front” and both Gallagher and Carmichael will lead a discussion on Sunday morning about primary sources related to Lee and the campaign. Civil War enthusiasts and teachers alike should consider attending this program.
I graciously accepted a very kind offer to take part in the conference as the “official” blogger. Can’t wait!