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Old 06-19-2020, 12:07 AM
 
58 posts, read 8,656 times
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For those who want to understand the 'romance' of the Civil War, and the undeniable hold it has on the American psyche in the modern era ( although the book was written 20 years ago ) may I recommend the Tony Horwitz book 'Confederates In The Attic'
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/b...readers-guide/
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:49 AM
 
Location: The North Star State
2,622 posts, read 796,265 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineman View Post
How many thousands would not have died if Lincoln had simply removed the troops from Ft Sumter?
How many millions would have remained in the shackles of slavery had the South simply decided not to secede?

Spoiler
More than four million.
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Old 06-20-2020, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
46,505 posts, read 19,996,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post




...who wrote his first volume in full Lost Cause mode and only slowly evolved his viewpoint by the time he completed the trilogy ten years later. An engaging writer and speaker, but Burns relied a little too much on his viewpoint even while knowing it was something to be downplayed.
Have you actually rad the trilogy or are you passing along something you've head or read?

I first read the books in the early 1980's, and have subsequently re-read them twice. While it is apparent that Foote feels a strong affection for some of the characters, he doesn't betray any favorable disposition toward their cause. He finds Earl Van Dorn amusing, and so do I. He finds Nathan Bedford Forest to be an astonishing ingenious and effective cavalry leader, and so do I. That does not mean that I endorse Van Dorn's caviler lifestyle with the ladies, nor Forest's actions as a slavetrader and later a Klansman. You seem to be assuming that Foote does.
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
26,637 posts, read 11,781,165 times
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Moderator cut: Burns' politics are irrelevant in History forum discussions. The Civil War Series was decent, but his Vietnam series SUCKED as it was very biased against the U.S.

Last edited by mensaguy; 06-20-2020 at 08:09 PM.. Reason: Leave politics out of this forum.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:35 PM
 
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If I remember right the main conclusion Ken Burn's documentary fielded was "In the end both sides recognized that the sin of slavery required such an enormous sacrifice in blood and treasury [the Civil War] to atone for it." I thought this was a very good conclusion. I feel sorry for the enormous sacrifice that the young Nation had to endure, but it was worth it... It made America so much better and stronger. Something we have to build on every new day.
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potential_Landlord View Post
If I remember right the main conclusion Ken Burn's documentary fielded was "In the end both sides recognized that the sin of slavery required such an enormous sacrifice in blood and treasury [the Civil War] to atone for it." I thought this was a very good conclusion. I feel sorry for the enormous sacrifice that the young Nation had to endure, but it was worth it... It made America so much better and stronger. Something we have to build on every new day.
That was what President Lincoln famously said during his second inaugural speech.
Quote:
He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
It was Lincoln's recognition that both sides were responsible for slavery, that the South embraced any such recognition requires some evidence.
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:09 AM
 
10,251 posts, read 5,192,843 times
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Originally Posted by VM1138 View Post
The comments in this very thread reveal a fatal flaw in the Civil War documentary: Shelby Foote.

Shelby Foote is not an eminent historian. He is a novelist who wrote three massive tomes on the Civil War. They're well-written narrative history, but they're fifty years old, outdated and not based on original research. He approached the story of the Civil War as a novelist, not a historian.

Now, the documentary is not wrong in the sense that virtually every YouTube history video is wrong. Most of it is fine, if a little generalized due to the nature of being a TV documentary. But Shelby Foote in particular is well-known for romanticizing the war and the South.

It's been a while since I watched it so I can't speak to specific claims, but consider this just a general warning about it. It's a romanticized version of the war, for sure. We understand so much more about the war now than we did then, so I'd strongly recommend reading recent research. There hasn't been a recent documentary that updates Ken Burns' so I can't steer you toward that, unfortunately.

That being said, it's not a bad documentary, but because it's outdated and even at the time relied on some questionable pro-Southern interpretations it's best to view it with a grain of salt.
Historian or not I always felt that Shelby Foote made that series eminently watchable.

And while it didn’t cover Reconstruction, one of the takeaways in the last episode that has stuck with me was that 1/5 of Mississippi’s budget in 1866 was spent just on prosthetic limbs. Hard to romanticize something like that.
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:29 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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At an individual level the civil war was complicated. In my own family the most recent ancestor who owned slaves had a son who fought for the Union under Grant, dying of fever at Vicksburg. But on the macro scale in hindsight we can see that the union victory ended slavery probably 50 years sooner than would have happened without it.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:34 AM
 
1,351 posts, read 779,316 times
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I remember when Burns’ ground-breaking Civil War documentary first came out on PBS. It provided a more in-depth, nuanced look into the Civil War for us average folks - more than the black and white (no pun intended) superficial dichotomy most of we had received from our schooling or popular media. It provided a more nuanced, grey portrait, if you will. It really resonated with many Americans of all stripes, established Burns as a talented, popular documentarian, and elevated Shelby Foote’s standing as a historian personality.

The shocking photos, coupled with Mr. Foote’s warm and folksy - yet more detached Southerner - commentary really elevated this program. The melancholic theme music also helped to convey Burns’ own personal feelings about the entire event. And that was what it was: Ken Burns’ perspective on the American Civil War, as all historical events are. However, it is a good launching pad for more in-depth studies across various sources, for those interested.

When I delved further into the CW, new, fascinating information revealed to me a much more complex view of the entire event. Not only was it a true Civil War in the broadest sense (Mrs. Lincoln had family members fighting for the Confederate cause, while she was a lifelong staunch supporter of the Union’s), it revealed minute details into the human condition that resonates across time and cultures.

Did you know that General Custer ( yes, that one) played a pivotal role at Gettysburg as a Union Calvary officer, and in later battles leading up to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. One of Grant’s officers even gifted him the small table on which Lee and Grant had signed the official surrender conditions, as a gesture of appreciation.

Last edited by mingna; 06-23-2020 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:34 PM
 
10,251 posts, read 5,192,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Have you actually rad the trilogy or are you passing along something you've head or read?

I first read the books in the early 1980's, and have subsequently re-read them twice. While it is apparent that Foote feels a strong affection for some of the characters, he doesn't betray any favorable disposition toward their cause. He finds Earl Van Dorn amusing, and so do I. He finds Nathan Bedford Forest to be an astonishing ingenious and effective cavalry leader, and so do I. That does not mean that I endorse Van Dorn's caviler lifestyle with the ladies, nor Forest's actions as a slavetrader and later a Klansman. You seem to be assuming that Foote does.
I just started reading volume 1 and am really enjoying it. I like Foote’s writing style, just as I liked his narrative style in the series.
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