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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2012 01:20 pm
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Savez
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Mark wrote: Savez, can you provide a specific example of what you mean when you say that "McPherson's is a liberal pro-Lincoln revisionist." History by its very nature is "revisionist" since new generations ask different questions about the past. Thanks.

Mark


There is no doubt that McPherson is a liberal.

Here is his take on revisionism...

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2003/0309/0309pre1.cfm

And he idolizes Lincoln.

Hence "liberal pro-Lincoln revisionist"

 

Now I understand "revisionist" can be a good thing sometimes. But usually that ends up being "this guys said this, but I think he really meant this".  For example it seems to be a trend that when a Confedereate soldier wrote that he was fighting for his home, mothers, and wives, historians "revise" it to mean that he was fighting for their protection against the slaves that would be free, not from the invading Yankee army.  McPherson is in this camp. Some may have meant that, but I doubt it. We can't always take everything in history as indisputable fact but sometimes what somebody says is actually what they meant. We weren't there. We live in a different time. We don't know what they were feeling or what they actually meant. To pretend otherwise is a gross oversimplification of history. And I think this is especially true with the Civil War.

 

"I find it obnoxious, but it's extremely typical. The people that emphasize Confederate heritage and the legacy, and the importance of understanding Confederate history, want to deny that Confederate history was ultimately bound up with slavery. But that was the principal reason for secession -- that an anti-slavery party was elected to the White House. . . . And without secession, there wouldn't have been a war."

--James McPherson's reaction to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's proclomation of Confederate history month.

Hogwash! I am one of "the people that emphasize my Confederate heritage and the legacy" and I do not deny that Confederate history was bound up with slavery. Slavery however, was not the "principal reason" that Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, or Tennessee seceded. It was Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers. Tennessee didn't even hold a convention until after his call for troops. It is these blanket statements by he and others like him that leave a bad taste in my mouth. McPherson is "eat up" with the "treasury of virtue". I have disdain for anything he writes. Like I said his only redeeming quality is his work on Civil War battlefield preservation.

Last edited on Wed May 23rd, 2012 01:29 pm by

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