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Black Confederate Movement “Demented”

This weekend the University of Virginia’s Miller Center will begin airing their “Our American Forum” interview with Gary Gallagher on public TV stations across the country. The Center has uploaded a few preview clips, but I thought this clip in which Gary describes the black Confederate movement as “demented” was worth sharing. I’ve always appreciated […]

The mysterious new Lincoln letter

Last Friday, the Associated Press reported on the discovery of a previously unknown Abraham Lincoln document, and with it, a puzzling mystery.  Addressed only to “My dear Sir,” a portion of the letter had been carefully removed, eliminating the key to understanding its meaning.  Lincoln appears to have been writing “in haste” to someone asking if he […]

Talk on the Shays Rebellion in Lincoln, 16 Mar.

On Sunday, 16 March, the Friends of Minute Man National Park will host a lecture by Gary Shattuck on “Shays’ Rebellion: The Trials for Job Shattuck.” It looks like this lecture will be based on Gary Shattuck’s recent book, which theShow More Summary


The cost of living is going up: We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your [Amazon] Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on July 14, 2014. Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Show More Summary

Why the Historians May Not Matter To Napolitano

I’ve already said that I think both Andrew Napolitano and Jon Stewart ought to leave the history to the historians. It will be interesting to see whether Napolitano continues to voice claims about the war that are decidedly false. The two that stand out include a mistaken belief that slavery was on the verge of […]

Making Me Think Even More Highly of Steve Jobs

After Glenn Beck made racist comments on his Fox News show, Steve Jobs was not pleased: When Apple founder Steve Jobs found out what Beck had said, he was furious. On a Saturday, Jobs, who hadn’t known Apple advertised on Fox, firedShow More Summary

Talks All Mapped Out in Lexington This Spring

The Scottish Rite Museum and Library in Lexington, also known as the National Heritage Museum, or formerly the Museum of Our National Heritage, has some intriguing talks mapped out for the spring.In particular, this Saturday there will be a talk on Col. Show More Summary

Why We Need Professional Historians

Last night Judge Andrew Napolitano returned to The Daily Show a week after Stewart’s segment in which he critiqued some of the judge’s most problematic claims about Lincoln and the war. You can watch the interview [and here] as well as the little game show skit featuring Napolitano and a panel of historians, including Eric […]

Has It Been An “Anemic” Civil War Sesquicentennial?

Here is another excerpt from The Civil War Trust’s interview with Gary Gallagher. Here Gary responds to a question about the impact of the sesquicentennial in comparison with the centennial. I think it’s been anemic. I don’t think many states have done much. Virginia’s done a great deal with a series of what they call […]

Now That’s A Book I Want To Read

I don’t know when this interview with Gary Gallagher took place, but this little comment caught my attention in response to the question of where further research is most needed. I’m not sure there is a big hole in the literature that’s just crying out to be filled. What’s interesting is that a book occasionally […]

“The Women of Washington’s Headquarters” in Cambridge, 13 Mar.

I’ll miss Ray Raphael’s talk in Worcester on Thursday evening because at that time I’ll be speaking in Cambridge on “The Women of Washington’s Headquarters.” This is the latest in a series of talks I’ve given at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site to commemorate Evacuation Day, when Gen. Show More Summary

Historical Vision and Greater Russia

Stephen Walt writes in support of learning history, but reveals that he hasn’t quite followed his own prescription: The United States and the European Union backed the anti-Yanukovych forces in Ukraine in a fit of idealistic absentmindedness,...Show More Summary

Is Glenn McConnell’s Confederate Past the College of Charleston’s Future?

Ultimately, the question of whether Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell becomes the next president of the College of Charleston will be decided by school officials. McConnell is one among three finalists for the position. Whether or not McConnell is selected will tell us a great deal about the legacy of the Confederacy in Charleston and the […]

Ending the War

In 1945, as World War II ended in the Pacific, people turned to reestablishing small things: That day the commander of the British Landing Force and two other officers visited the grave of Will Adams at the nearby village of Hammamate. Show More Summary

Ray Raphael on Worcester in Worcester, 13 Mar.

On Thursday, 13 March, the Worcester Historical Museum will host a lecture and public discussion with Ray Raphael titled “The Worcester Revolution of 1774.”The local description, slightly edited:In September of 1774, 4,622 militiamen...Show More Summary

Living in the Past

Yesterday I attended the first (annual?) History Camp, organized by Lee Wright of The History List, at an IBM facility in Cambridge. It was a fun day of meeting other history researchers, students, professionals, and buffs. Check out...Show More Summary

From Blog to Book

The other day I outlined the final chapter of my book on Confederate body servants and the myth of the black Confederate soldier. The chapter focuses specifically on the rise and spread of this narrative leading to and especially through the sesquicentennial years. It’s by far the most interesting chapter and will likely be a […]

Adams Revisits Attucks

In July 1773, John Adams returned to the figure of Crispus Attucks in an odd new way. Adams wrote this passage into his diary:To Tho. HutchinsonSirYou will hear from Us with Astonishment. You ought to hear from Us with Horror. You are...Show More Summary

Can Women Talk About Civil War Military History?

The good folks at Great Divide Pictures were kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of their forthcoming series, Civil War: The Untold Story, which tells the story of the war in the West. I’ve watched the first two episodes on Shiloh and skimmed the rest. Overall, it’s a solid production. The digital maps […]

Update on the Ukraine

1. Yes, Russia wants to annex the Crimea. Were we genuinely thinking something else? 2. No, there isn’t going to be another Cold War, whether Russia can afford it or not. Russia isn’t the Soviet Union, isn’t going to dominate eastern Europe, split Germany in half, and threaten the west. Show More Summary

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