Appearance on Studio 360

Update: The interview went well and should air this weekend. Thanks to those of you who left comments or emailed me. I am disappointed that Newt didn’t call in. Oh well.

This morning I will be a guest on Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson to discuss my review of Newt Gingrich’s Civil War novel, The Battle of the Crater.  The interview is at 10am, but if I heard correctly it will not air live – perhaps over the weekend.  Of course, I will share the podcast once it appears on their website.  It should be fun.

For those of you up early perhaps you can help me with a short list of politicians who have dabbled in history.  I am interested primarily, but not exclusively in the Civil War era.  Woodrow Wilson comes to mind in the context of the Civil War and, of course, there is Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage.  More recent examples are very much appreciated.  Thanks for your help.

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18 comments… add one
  • Scott MacKenzie Dec 7, 2011 @ 7:42

    George McGovern – also a history PhD – wrote a book on Lincoln for the American Presidents series of Time Books in 2008. I have an autographed copy from his visit to Montgomery.

  • Woodrowfan Dec 7, 2011 @ 6:12

    FYI, TR and Wilson were also Presidents of the American Historical Association.

    Wilson’s “Division and Reunion” was an attempt to find common ground between the northern and southern versions of the War. It was generally well-received, but some southern reviewers thought it was too pro-Yankee and a few northern reviewers thought it was too pro-Southern.

    Newt earned a Ph.D. in history writing on Belgian control of the Congo. I haven’t read it, but a historian buddy of mine who did said he defended Belgium’s conduct in their colony.

  • Rob Baker Dec 7, 2011 @ 5:12

    Jimmy Carter did a historically based novel dealing with the Rev. War. Not the Civil War of course but still an attempt at history.

  • Andy Hall Dec 7, 2011 @ 4:43

    Theodore Roosevelt wrote a naval history of the War of 1812, while in his early 20s, which is still in print and is even now considered one of the landmark works on the subject. Definitiely more than dabbling, in this case.

    • Kevin Levin Dec 7, 2011 @ 5:10

      Thanks everyone. Great suggestions thus far.

      Of course, let’s not forget Mike Huckabee’s It’s a classic.

  • cg Dec 7, 2011 @ 4:19

    Senator Jim Webb wrote that book called “Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.” I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its awful.

    • John Buchanan Dec 7, 2011 @ 7:32

      Actually, its pretty good. Don’t forget, he was an established novelist several decades ago.

      For a popular history I thought it was well researched.

  • Rob Baker Dec 7, 2011 @ 4:14

    Ron Paul (who is my favorite so be gentle) made some comments about the Civil War.

    Here is one example and there are a couple more. Generally he is making the statement that the U.S. could avoid the Civil War through compensation like Britain’s was. He is also dancing with the idea of the spread of Nationalism as well. I am not sure if the concept of Nationalism is researched in terms of the Civil War in a global context, or if it is his Libertarian platform rising to the top. Obviously, the platform is going to rise even if his stance is researched.

    Hope that helps.

    • Scott MacKenzie Dec 7, 2011 @ 7:45

      This clip alone ruined Ron Paul forever for me. His grasp of US history is weak at best. He assumed that 1) the North was willing to buy the slaves, and 2) the South was willing to sell them. Moreover, the revenue required to do so meant the kind of large government powers that Paul claims to oppose.

      • Ray O'Hara Dec 7, 2011 @ 7:56

        Ron Paul like all Libertarians and historical fact are yet to be introduced.

        • Scott MacKenzie Dec 7, 2011 @ 8:13

          True, but it’s worse in Canada. Ask them about their country’s involvement in Vietnam and Iraq and they’ll deny it outright. They just can’t face the facts.

          • TF Smith Dec 7, 2011 @ 19:40

            Canada’s involvement in Vietnam was non-existent.

            Korea, yes.

            Cold War in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, Arctic, and Germany?


            Vietnam? Other than individual Canadians who enlisted in the US forces, don’t think so…

        • Rob Baker Dec 7, 2011 @ 9:12


      • Rob Baker Dec 7, 2011 @ 9:12

        The war cost more than it would have cost to buy the slaves. Britain did the same thing. It is a basis for comparison.

        • Will Hickox Dec 7, 2011 @ 18:41

          Like the other folks said, the compensation idea assumes that Southerners would have been willing to sell their slaves. Human property was an extremely valuable investment in the Antebellum South. The fact that the war cost more than compensation would have is immaterial, as no one could have known that before it began.

          • Rob Baker Dec 8, 2011 @ 5:37

            Hind sight is 20/20. Human property was also an extremely valuable possession in the Caribbean but yet the idea worked through payment and phase out. I am not advocating that the idea is right or wrong. I am saying it is an opinion and it is a valid one. Just as saying that it would not have worked based on the ideas of worth of property just as you have put forth here.

  • Scott Manning Dec 7, 2011 @ 3:52

    Robert Byrd did an extensive history on the Senate. The biggest example is probably Winston Churchill who wrote about 40 books, mostly covering history.

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