2009 Inspirational Awards

Thanks to Paul Harvey at Religion in American History for choosing Civil War Memory as one of his seven most inspirational blogs. Paul had this to say inspiration-award_marie_antoinetteabout CWM:

Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory: anybody who can teach high school, engage actively in scholarship, and squash stupidly reactionary neo-Confederate and “black Confederate” pet theories all at the same time deserves a special place in blog heaven.

It’s always nice to hear that what you write matters, but knowing that the kind words come from the author of one of my favorite blogs, as well as a top-notch scholar , makes it extra special. Thanks again, Paul.

One of the conditions of acceptance is that the recipient choose 5 to 7 inspirational blogs of his/her own.  So, here are the blogs that I can’t do without and that keep me coming back for more:

Cenantua’s Blog: I bestowed my “Best of” award on Robert Moore’s site this past December, but it is truly one of the most inspirational sites within the Civil War blogosophere.  Robert reminds all of us that you can be proud of your family, regional, and national heritage without losing sight of the complexity of history.

My Year of Living Rangerously: Mannie Gentile has sacrificed much and has made some tough choices in order to work as a seasonal ranger at the Antieam National Battlefield.  His blog not only provides insight into one of the most important Civil War battles, but serves to remind us of how important it is for each of us to pursue our dreams and passions.  Thanks Mannie.

Draw the Sword: Jenny Goellnitz is in the middle of a massive project cataloging every statue and marker on the Gettysburg battlefield.  The result will no doubt prove to be a valuable tool for researchers and visitors alike.  This award, however, acknowledges more than the content of Jenny’s blog.  Jenny’s successful battle with cancer and the role of running in her recovery (much of it on the Gettysburg battlefield) has left me reaching for my jogging shoes on the most difficult of days.

The History Enthusiast: If you ever wanted to know what life is like for a history grad student than spend some time at this site.  The History Enthusiast writes about the joys and frustrations of graduate school as well as the challenges of writing a dissertation.   I’ve been reading long enough to know for certain that even through some of the most challenging periods of this grad student’s career that there remains much enthusiasm for the discipline and that there will be a Phd at the end of the road.

History is Elementary: I have nothing but the deepest respect for my fellow history instructors who labor day-to-day in the trenches.  I sometimes wish that we spent as much time acknowledging the best in the teaching profession rather than those silly polls that purport to tell us how little our students know about their history.  Let’s celebrate teachers such as EHT and perhaps we will attract more like her.  Thanks for your dedication to the profession and commitment to your students.

Congratulations to all the winners and for inspiring me to be a better blogger, teacher, and historian.

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17 comments… add one
  • Kevin Levin Jan 27, 2009 @ 2:24

    Richard, — The reason I dubbed your political commentary as “silly” is because I rarely learn anything or am I presented with something to seriously consider. I read plenty of liberal and conservative blogs that do not take the easy road of generalization, insult, and straw man argument. Of course, to each his own.

  • Kevin Levin Jan 26, 2009 @ 12:12

    I am going to go ahead and end this little exchange. It was just an acknowledgment from someone who enjoys my blog.

  • Richard G. Williams, Jr. Jan 26, 2009 @ 11:28

    Ah, Sherree, you are selectively offended.

  • Richard G. Williams, Jr. Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:33

    Just thought it was strange language for an “Inspirational” Award. Of course, we’ve been through the Black Confederate debate here and on my blog. And, if you’ll remember, that was civil. Lumping all those with different perspectives on that topic together as “stupidly reactionary” is not.

    The political posts on my blog are irrelevant and a distraction to the specific topic at hand.


    • Kevin Levin Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:37

      Of course it’s irrelevant when it’s convenient. I wouldn’t take the award or the language so seriously. All Paul was getting at was that he appreciates my commitment to questioning and debunking many of these ridiculous stories. If you go back through my blog’s archives you will notice that most of these stories are silly and worthy of such language.

  • Sherree Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:18

    “‘stupidly reactionary neo-Confederate and ‘black Confederate’ pet theories'”

    “That should encourage civil debate and discourse.”

    No, these are the words of civil debate: “pinko commie libs”.

    I was going to comment on your blog on a point on which we did find common ground–that President Bush should not have been booed at the inauguration– until I read those words. There is no common ground when you hold sentiments such as these. In addition, the man who conferred a derisive title on Kevin is not a man whom someone who claims to be tolerant would back. Do you back that man? Do you condone the use of the word “hick”? Do you think there were “aristocratic” slaveowners, as opposed to “hick” slaveowners? Was there anything “gentlemanly” about owning a slave? Could there have been? You actually are trying to defend your heritage, Richard. The problem is that you, I, and everyone else in the South, do not know what our heritage really is because our history was stolen from us–from all of us, black and white. You’ll be the first to be thrown overboard. Please get that chip off your shoulder and try and figure out who the Scots Irish really were without all of the rhetoric of all of the many theories of people who think they know. Thanks.

    PS. Yes, we do have something in common. My grandmother used to make apple butter in a big black cast iron pot passed down to her by her grandmother. It had the most incredible smell in the fall at apple harvest, wafting through the valley of the Blue Ridge.

  • Richard G. Williams, Jr. Jan 26, 2009 @ 8:15

    “stupidly reactionary neo-Confederate and “black Confederate” pet theories”

    That should encourage civil debate and discourse.


    • Kevin Levin Jan 26, 2009 @ 9:45

      With all due respect, do you mean “encourage civil debate” as some of your silly political commentary does? I’m sorry that you fail to see that most of these stories surrounding so-called black Confederates are, in fact, “stupidly reactionary.” That is actually being kind.

      Have a good one Richard.

  • Robert Moore Jan 25, 2009 @ 19:13

    Thanks again Kevin. I am, indeed, very honored by the recognition.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 26, 2009 @ 4:07

      Thank you Robert. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from reading your blog.

  • Mannie Jan 25, 2009 @ 14:45

    and do forgive the “Kenin”


    • Kevin Levin Jan 25, 2009 @ 15:05

      My pleasure Mannie. I hope that in the not too distant future we have the chance to chat once again in person.

  • Mannie Jan 25, 2009 @ 14:44


    How unexpected, and very touching. Thank you for the kind words and for putting me in such good company.


  • Kevin Levin Jan 25, 2009 @ 11:32

    You are very welcome Jenny.

  • Jenny Jan 25, 2009 @ 10:21

    Thank you, Kevin, for your very kind words. 🙂 An honor, really.

  • Kevin Levin Jan 25, 2009 @ 8:12

    You are very welcome.

  • The History Enthusiast Jan 25, 2009 @ 7:33

    Thank you so much! I feel honored. This will help me feel inspired to post more ;-).

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