I took a rare day off on Memorial Day, but it had nothing to do with mourning dead American soldiers. Naturally, this didn’t stop me from being bombarded by the endlessly treacly and corny “conservative” online finger-wagging about how I need to honor all the dead soldiers who ostensibly shed their blood to protect my freedoms. (more…)
Tag: the Civil War
New York: Penguin Press, 2017
Ulysses S. Grant is one of the archetypal Americans. A brilliant general who would only accept unconditional surrender. A modest president who eschewed pomp in favor of simple, democratic attire. (more…)
Remembering John C. Calhoun (March 18, 1782–March 31, 1850)
Anyone familiar with 19th-century American history will recognize John C. Calhoun as the man who, more than anyone else, represented the antebellum South. He, along with John Randolph of Roanoke, Virginia, provided much of the intellectual heft behind the character and institutions of the South and defined its position as a distinct economic and cultural region within the greater Union.
The Specter of Saint-Domingue Part II: The Horror of Saint-Domingue in the Antebellum South
There was a time that the American mainstream was really interested in the US Civil War of 1860-1865. That time was before Obama’s gloomy second term empowered the insane asylum of weeping non-whites, deviants, mattoids, and Marxists that rejected all American history (more…)
What are we to make of reparations for slavery to American blacks? It’s become a frequently repeated demand lately, and might be even more so later on. The strange thing is that that the further away in time we get from slavery, which ended well before living memory, the pricklier the topic becomes. Likewise, demands for reparations (more…)
Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, And America’s Journey From Slavery to Segregation
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2019
Steve Luxenberg is a Washington Post associate editor and protégé of the Watergate reporter Bob Woodward. In 2019, he published a book called Separate, which describes the (more…)
Unless you’re a Texan, you probably never heard of Juneteenth until last week.
This holiday celebrates the end of slavery and has long been a minor holiday in the Lone Star State. It commemorates the day — June 19, 1865 — where the Union declared all slaves in the state of Texas free, (more…)
S.C. Gwynne’s magnificent Empire of the Summer Moon hits as hard as literature can hit and offers history as a form of sublime entertainment. I believe the author wouldn’t take all the credit for his book’s success, since the subject matter — which is, as the subtitle tells us, the rise and fall of the nineteenth-century Comanche nation — is so fascinating, so packed with action, so rife with contradictions, so laden with heart-wrenching drama, and so existential in its meaning, the story pretty much writes itself. (more…)
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past five years, you’ve probably heard about the “dangerous” return of tribalism.
Before 2015 (or before Obama, depending on the source), Americans didn’t put themselves in tribes. They only saw red, white and blue. Everyone was judged as an individual. Civility and decency reigned supreme. Race relations and gender relations were all just fine. Americans were one nation, under God and indivisible. (more…)
Remembering Thomas Nelson Page (April 23, 1853 — November 1, 1922)
After the Civil War, the American South was in ruins. Beyond the poverty, oppression, and the rapid demise of the old regime, however, the inheritors of the former Confederacy found themselves without defense in the national court of moral opinion. They were a defeated people who had drawn arms against a tolerant and progressive government in order to cling to outmoded ways of life, including (most offensively to some) the ancient practice of slavery.
Lincoln is essentially Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with bigger words. The latter said the Confederacy was the product of blood sucking monsters to be destroyed with stakes to the heart and decapitation. The former tells us Southerners simply exist to be killed with bayonet and cannonade. Far from being the “moral relativists” of conservative imagination, Hollywood has given us a version of American history characterized by absolute portrayals of good and evil, with shades of gray permitted to righteous egalitarians only divided by what tactics can best be used to exterminate their foes. (more…)