Southern Heritage Community Takes Notice

It’s one thing to get advanced praise from scholars such as David Blight and Earl Hess, but you really can’t beat the honest assessment from my friends in the Southern heritage community.  Consider the following Facebook thread from my old buddy, Carl Roden (aka Amanda). It’s nice to know that my book is on their radar screen and if it makes for some comfortable toilet paper then so be it. 🙂

This last comment didn’t make it into the screenshot:

“I will guarantee you that Amazon will not allow the “Reviews” to this book that will come in. Levin is just like the rest of the POG’s that Michael Phipps often refers to, for those who have no concept of what a “Military Experience in War” is like. Perhaps, that why someone like Edwin Bearss, a Marine Combat Vet was so successful in his writing about the battles that took place. Levin was trying to “Construct a Narrative” that there was an Attempt by the Southern Defenders along the Jerusalem Plank Road by the St. Johns Blandford Church in putting down a “Slave Rebellion”. How utterly Ignorant, Stupid, Moronic, and Ass-Backwards from what was happening, with the Courageous and Determined Defense of a Break in the Lines. The Fool just does not get it, not matter how many “Contortions” and “Revisions” he engineers into the Narrative.”

Rest assured that no reviews will be censored on the Amazon page.  The more attention, the better.  Keep it coming and thanks for acknowledging my book.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

29 comments… add one
  • Bryan Cheeseboro May 25, 2012 @ 9:05

    I look forward to Kevin’s book for addressing the history of how the Battle of the Crater and the Civil War have been remembered, as well as confronting the very contentious issue of race.

    If Carl W. Roden can write a book about the Crater and prove that Kevin’s book really is “toilet paper,” he is welcome to try. Good luck finding evidence on that.

    I would love to see the Battle of the Crater made into a movie someday. As important as Kevin’s book is, more people would see a movie about the story than read the book. And a good movie showing how Confederates really felt about Black men with guns could punch a big hole in the Black Confederate Myth. I know Roden and others like him will never get it, no matter how much evidence is put in front of them. My concern is the unsuspecting public at large; i.e., those with the comprehension to look at the truth and understand it for what it is.

    • Forester May 30, 2012 @ 8:51

      Also, I hope it will encourage Southerners to dig more deeply into their own local histories, discovering the similar “small” stories that tell similar narritives.

      Like that Norfolk, VA riot that I continually harp on (yeah, I knowm, here I go again). But the records clearly illustrate that average Norfolk citizens viewed uniformed USCTs as “armed negroes”, and their fear was grounded in fear of NEGROES, not fear of Federal soldiers. While white Yankees and Unionists were disliked and didn’t feel safe, there was a special horror applied to black soldiers, especially in the newspaper articles. If there had been black soldiers in the Confederacy, the whites of Norfolk were totally oblivious. Also, the real accounts of Rebel veterans comprising the entire local police force dispell the “bayonet rule” myth that I learned as a child.

      The Crater battle is a “big” story, the kind of epic that the general public eats up, and it would make an excellent movie. But I hope it encourages people to dig further into CW narritives and secondary sources to find the “little” events like the Norfolk incedent.

  • Emmanuel Dabney May 25, 2012 @ 3:08

    Just as a sidebar: St. John’s Church is in Richmond and Blandford Church is in Petersburg. I guess someone should get a map. Then there are all the capitalization and spelling errors that I’m just not even going to tackle from the post that didn’t make the screenshot.

    • Kevin Levin May 25, 2012 @ 3:16

      Thanks, Emmanuel.

  • Virginia S. Wood May 24, 2012 @ 14:36

    What’s with all the caps and quotation marks? These guys go to school in the 1700s, or what?

    And on a more serious note, man, that stuff is UGLY. Scary, even. You really stick your head up out of the trenches every time you publish, don’t you? Brave man.

  • Scott A. MacKenzie May 23, 2012 @ 13:43

    Well, sign me up for a copy (via your link.) While I’m at it, I’ll get a ticket to see “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” The SHPG discourages people from seeing it because it portrays Confederates as vampires.

    • Rob Baker May 23, 2012 @ 14:40

      The SHPG discourages people from seeing it because it portrays Confederates as vampires.

      No way! I really can’t wait for that movie to come out now.

      • Scott A. MacKenzie May 23, 2012 @ 17:14

        Yes way! It comes out on June 22nd. I’m definitely going to see it. Don’t forget Spielberg’s Lincoln which debuts in December. I hope someday that they’ll release “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” from 1940 on DVD. I have the Gore Vidal movie with Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore, and the Criterion edition of John Ford’s “Young Mr. Lincoln” with Henry Fonda. There’s also a low-budget movie “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” coming soon.

        • Rob Baker May 23, 2012 @ 17:17

          This is definitely a year for Lincoln. I plan on seeing the Vampire Hunter movie (mainly because I enjoyed the book) and the Spielberg Lincoln later on. Can’t wait.

        • Mark Snell May 24, 2012 @ 14:37


          ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’ is available on DVD thorough If you are a good boy, we’ll allow you to watch it when you come to Shepherdstown next week.

  • Forester May 23, 2012 @ 8:18

    Well, I haven’t read his book yet (obviously), but I’ve read the FAQs and they should give some consideration to the “What I’m Not Saying About the Crater” page and all, where he gives a lot of consideration to the South and the reasons for their attitudes. From the comments on this blog, Kevin seems to think that the violence was caused by deep-rooted beliefs and attitudes that were very complicated, not a simplistic “North good/South bad” paradigm.

    All any sensible person can do is wait until they’ve read the actual book and then pass judgement based on what he wrote, not who he is or what one thinks of him. Damnant quod non intellegunt.

    • Michael Douglas May 24, 2012 @ 5:12

      But there’s the rub. . .”any sensible person.” My experience of the attitudes in this group leads me to believe that they will find major fault, no matter how objective the book. Unless it’s couched in terms of Noble, Saintly Confederacy/Damned, Tyrannical Yankee they’ll condemn it, all the while demonstrating the narrow perspective and lack of intellectual honesty and objectivity of which they so readily accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

      • Kevin Levin May 24, 2012 @ 5:53

        Of course. Many of these folks are interested in defending a certain narrative rather than engaging in historical explanation or the process of history.

  • Woodrowfan May 23, 2012 @ 5:54

    I am amused by the “darn Yankees tried to blow us up!” wahhhbulance. sheesh.

    The “dam*” and the “he!!” are special as well, given the anger and hatred in the same post…. Apparently typing “damn” is sinful, but anger and hatred are not…

  • WD May 23, 2012 @ 5:26

    OK, I have to ask being ignorant: is this “maroon” a Carl or an Amanda? I take he or she is a frequent and valued contributor to the comment section on your blog?

    As much as I have come to detest Lost Causers I equally detest the Holier Than Thou types from the other side of the equation.

    • Rob Baker May 23, 2012 @ 5:32

      I suggest reading the post Kevin wrote “Dear Amanda”

    • Bryan Cheeseboro May 26, 2012 @ 2:59

      And who are these “Holier Than Thou types” anyway? I get what you’re saying but I haven’t seen to many people so far that add “I’m better than you because I’m from the North and my ancestors fought on the right side” in the war.

  • Rob Baker May 23, 2012 @ 4:55

    Got to love Amanda. She just keeps on plugging.

    Looking forward to it coming out Kevin.

  • Charles Bowery May 23, 2012 @ 4:41

    Good Lord. The comments pages on websites and blogs expose a scary, ignorant sector of American society. I suppose it has always been there, but it’s disturbing all the same.

    • Kevin Levin May 23, 2012 @ 4:46

      It’s relatively harmless. You can’t beat free publicity.

      • Brad May 23, 2012 @ 5:55


        In one sense, it’s harmless and any kind of publicity is good. However, on another level, it’s not harmless and you don’t know what these psychos will do. In one sense social media allow them to vent and, hopefully, get it out of their system.


        • Kevin Levin May 23, 2012 @ 6:01


          The difference is that I do not consider these people to be psychos. I am not even sure what that means in this context. While I believe their choice of words are unfortunate and not very helpful, it stems from a sincere interest in and connection to the past. I can’t help it if they perceive me to be a threat. I claim no authority on this subject beyond the evidence I collected and my skill as an interpreter. Anyone is free to challenge or improve upon my claims about how Confederate soldiers understood the presence of black soldiers at the Crater.

          With all due respect, your choice of words is just as poor as theirs.

          • Brad May 24, 2012 @ 7:26

            Maybe “these people” would have been better, but I guess not “nut jobs,” eh? 🙂

            • Kevin Levin May 24, 2012 @ 8:07

              I guess it just doesn’t do much to help the conversation along.

      • Will Hickox May 23, 2012 @ 11:59

        They do insist on playing into your hands, don’t they?

      • Will Hickox May 23, 2012 @ 12:03

        Why does Mr. Shirley desire your snail mail address? Could he have anything other than a sinister motive? This is some culture of heritage and honor they’re pushing.

        • Woodrowfan May 25, 2012 @ 5:56

          Maybe for his Christmas card list??

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