Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Civil War in Memory

For Americans, at least, no historical event is so constantly reassessed and reinterpreted as the American Civil War.

sets out a good argument against the desire to interpret the motivations of people going to war in light of the consequences of the war.  In this case, the ACW resulted in emancipation, and the idea of the Union is no longer of great interest--but this does not mean that people in 1860 saw things this way--claims John David Smith, writing about a new book by Gary Gallagher.