Is This Text Appropriate for the Classroom?

I consider myself lucky to work in a History Department that reflects seriously on pedagogy and has command of their respective subject areas. Today I decided to share the opening of chapter 7 in Edward Baptists new book, which as you know I’ve been reading and commenting on over the past few weeks. We talked quite a bit about it and at one point the question of whether it is appropriate for our classrooms arose. Continue reading “Is This Text Appropriate for the Classroom?”

Free Course With Eric Foner Starts Tomorrow

I hope some of you have the time to take advantage of another opportunity to study the Civil War Era with one of the most prominent scholars in the field. The course is free and begins tomorrow. The video is well worth watching, especially the second half in which Foner reflects on the influence of his family’s history on his scholarly interests. Wish I had the time to take it.

The Lovett School in Atlanta Remembers the Civil War

Even if you just have just a few minutes check out this wonderful dramatic reading focused on the Civil War in Georgia performed by students a The Lovett School in Atlanta. This is one of the best student productions that I’ve seen in quite some time and serves as a useful model to connect an entire school community to its past. Well done.

[Uploaded to Vimeo on September 5, 2014]

Two Soldiers, Two Stories

Many of you may remember that this past school year I accompanied 35 students on a civil rights trip from Atlanta to Memphis. I was asked to accompany the instructor who organized it, but this year my school is requesting that I lead a trip for what we call Exploration Week, which takes place in March. It should come as no surprise that I am thinking of a Civil War trip for about 15 to 20 students – going small for the first year. What I have is little more than a sketchy outline of some of the sites that I want to visit, but they will likely fall between Gettysburg and Fredericksburg.  Continue reading “Two Soldiers, Two Stories”

Edward Baptist on Slavery, the Civil War and American Capitalism

My copy of Edward Baptist’s new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, arrived and I’ve managed to finish the first chapter. The book is incredibly well written and thought provoking. Baptist places the spread of slavery at the center of the expansion of capitalism from the period immediately following the Revolution through the nineteenth century. Contrary to popular opinion, slavery was not antithetical to American capitalism, but its driving force. No, Baptist is not the first historian to suggest this, but it is likely that this particular book will enjoy a wider readership given its publication by a popular press and the recent controversy surrounding a review that appeared in The EconomistContinue reading “Edward Baptist on Slavery, the Civil War and American Capitalism”