Civil War Historians

Book reviews can be tricky. You have to strike the right balance between covering its strengths and weaknesses as well as resisting the temptation to impose your own agenda onto the author. In other words, review the book that the author wrote and not the one that you would have written. I’ve written my share Read more

Stephen Budiansky, Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas (Norton, 2019). John Harris, The Last Slave Ship: New York and the End of the Middle Passage (Yale University Press, 2021). Elizabeth Hinton, America on Fire: The Untold History of Political Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s (Liveright, 2021). Kelly D. Mezurek Read more

I was recently asked by an academic press for my opinion on whether a new edition of Noah Andre Trudeau’s book Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865 should be published. Below is my report. Noah Andre Trudeau published Like Men of War in 1998. It is a narrative driven and Read more

Chet Bennett, Resolute Rebel: General Rosell S. Ripley, Charleston’s Gallant Defender (The University of South Carolina Press, 2017). Anthea Butler, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America (The University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Karen L. Cox, No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice (The University of North Read more

The Civil War Institute has been knocking it out of the park with their regular series of interviews with Civil War historians. This week’s interview with historian Katy Shively is no exception. Katy is currently working on a biography of Jubal Early. I’ve known about this project for quite some time, but only after listening Read more

William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Kate Masur, Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Norton, 2021). Tamika Y. Nunley, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, & Read more

Last week historian Stephen Berry joined John Heckman and Peter Carmichael for a fascinating conversation about the growing influence of digital history on the researching and writing of history. I am not even going to try to capture the richness of this discussion. Suffice it to say that it is well worth your time. Steve Read more

Robert E. Lee and Us

If there is one book to recommend as an introduction to the ongoing debate about Civil War memory and Confederate monuments it has to be Ty Seidule’s Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning With the Myth of the Lost Cause. The book is part memoir, part historical analysis. “For decades,” Seidule writes, “I Read more

Of course not. Today I spent a little time preparing for a discussion tomorrow with students in Amsterdam who have been reading various explanations for Confederate defeat and Union victory. I quickly realized that I haven’t given much thought to this question in quite some time. It also got me wondering about the state of Read more

First up is a short video about the Lost Cause myth that features historian Karen L. Cox. This is ideal for classroom use. With all the recent scholarship on Civil War memory, we still don’t have an academic study devoted specifically to how African American remembered and commemorated the war. This presentation by Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders Read more