Should Ford’s Theatre Sell Billo’s Book?

Is This Book Worth Reading?

Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. has decided not to sell the bestselling book, Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.  The decision was made following a thorough review of the book by Deputy Superintendent, Rae Emerson.  I don’t have any problem with the NPS making such a decision; in fact, I applaud it.  The NPS review is included in the Salon article for your consideration.  When I posted the article to the Civil War Memory page one of my readers responded that she had canceled her order for it.  That got me thinking.  Let me be clear, there are plenty of mistakes in this book, but I still wonder whether they render the book unreadable.

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Are License Plates Confederately Correct?

Harper's Weekly, September 17, 1864

It should come as no surprise that the Sons of Confederate Veterans attributes yesterday’s unanimous decision by the Texas DMV as another attack on Confederate symbols and “Southern Heritage” more generally.  It may surprise you to learn, however, that the leadership of the SCV at the turn of the twentieth century likely would have viewed yesterday’s decision as a victory.

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Brad Paisley’s Southern Heritage

There is an interesting verse in Brad Paisley’s single, “Camoflauge” which references the Confederate flag controversy:

Well the stars and bars offends some folks and I guess I see why nowadays theres still a way to show your southern pride the only thing is patriotic as the old red white and blue is green and gray and black and brown and tan all over too

Let’s ignore for now the fact that Paisley apparently has the wrong flag in mind.  We know what he means.  I don’t want to make too much of this, but it seems to me the lyric tells us something about diversity in the South as well as the extent to which Country Music has become mainstream.  It’s a clear statement on the part of Paisley announcing that he does not want to be stereotyped.  It’s unfortunate that at this point much of the nation still needs to be reminded that most white southerners do not identify with the Confederate flag.  What do you think?

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]