Today is the official publication day for the paperback edition of Searching for Black Confederates from the University of North Carolina Press. The decision to wait over two years to issue a paperback edition reflects, in part, the strong sales of the hardback edition. I have all of you to thank for that.
For those of you who haven’t yet purchased the book you can order it direct from the publisher at a 40% with the code: 01HOLIDAY. Of course, you can also order it from Amazon or through your local independent bookstore, which I strongly encourage.
Thanks to each and every one of you who has purchased and read the book. I also very much appreciate the many positive messages I have received as well as the many invitations to speak about the book.
UNC Press has been a pleasure to work with from the beginning. It’s been a true honor to have a book published in their Civil War America series and I look forward to working with their team to bring my current project about Robert Gould Shaw to completion.
I am still accepting invitations to speak in person and over zoom about Searching for Black Confederates. Contact me for more information.
As an African American, I read your work with mixed emotions. First, I thought the premise was just to cheat men of color once again of their due honor. I then became irked that the Lost Cause used and continues to use people of color to justify the narrative. Finally I was relieved to know that the efforts of the sesquicentennial has begun the course to set the record straight. Thank you for your research on this subject.
The effort some guys put into re-imagining “the lost cause” is similar to the effort put into “the clean Wehrmacht” myth that some German people cling to. (I’m German, and can tell you that such a thing was super rare). To blame us Germans as a race is to make the same mistake that we made, though. It is our culture that was toxic- 1000 years of the Holy Roman Empire went ‘poof’ and modernism threatened our Old Guard; socialism threatened our Monarchy, and the loss of the Great War threatened our notion of divine exceptionalism. Gott Mit Uns (“God with us”), our motto- was challenged; we needed a scapegoat to blame. Hunger (starvation) made us irrational too. So the Dolchstoßlegende (stab-in-the-back myth) made sense to us, especially with Henry Ford (the richest man in the world) promoting it, and nearly 2000 years of Christian superstition supporting it. It is still a popular idea among many nationalists- not just in Germany, but wherever there is a bad economy.. like Greece, for example, and the USA. We exported our worst ideas- that is a common theme among many nations.. stupidness is viral, ach je!
Nobody’s getting my hardback copy away from me – the author autographed it!
But good luck with the paperback sales. It’s so encouraging to see what some might call an academic history book move into the format most used by general readers. And the book richly deserves the widest possible readership.
Thanks so much for the kind words.