And the Park Service historian just sighs. . .

AOL News decided to start the year off with a glance at how America is getting geared up for the Civil War Sesquicentennial, so they called up the usual suspects for sound bites and came away with the predictable rhetoric, guaranteed to be 100% free of any meaningful historic sensibility.

NAACP official Lonnie Randolph compares the South Carolina fire-eaters to Timothy McVeigh, since both parties “disagreed with America.”  A nice grasp of political nuance, that.

Meanwhile, Mark Simpson of the SCV argues that focusing exclusively on slavery as a casus belli “would be like taking a book that has 10 or 15 chapters and tearing all the chapters out except one. While slavery was an issue, it was by no means what brought about the war.”  One wonders what the other nine or fourteen chapters might have been.

Meanwhile, the article reports, “Robert Sutton, the Park Service historian, just sighs.”  I know how he feels.

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2 Comments

Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

2 responses to “And the Park Service historian just sighs. . .

  1. Me too. I fear that any significant observances of this anniversary will not find their way into the mainstream. Politicians won’t touch it. The media will focus on the fringe. I hope there will be some observance on a national level that will do the anniversary justice…but it’s not looking good.

  2. Michael Lynch

    Yeah, and it’s kind of a perpetual motion machine, because the more the media emphasizes controversy, the more it will become a political hot potato, which means that institutions who are trying to do something meaningful with it will find less support, which means even more emphasis on the superficial and controversial aspects, and so on.

    –ML

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