The American Civil War: Legacies For Our Own Time

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…

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Do You Trust Those Lost Causers?

I recently offered some brief thoughts about Robert K. Krick’s concerns about historians, who are supposedly weary of Confederate memoirs.  While I focused my remarks on a specific claim made by Krick about how historians interpret Robert E. Lee’s wartime popularity, his broader point about postwar accounts is worth a brief mention as well. The…

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A Progressive Attempts to Understand Robert E. Lee

I am about half-way through and thoroughly enjoying Keith D. Dickson’s new book, Sustaining Southern Identity: Douglas Southall Freeman and Memory in the Modern South (Louisiana State University Press, 2012).  It’s not a conventional biography of Freeman; rather, the book explores the influence of the Lost Cause and his father’s military service in Confederate ranks…

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