Close Your Heart
A long-form article from Slate about the Central African Republic’s sectarian civil war.
is the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He is a prolific author whose most recent book is The Counter-Revolution of 1776: : Slave Resistance & the Origins of the United States of America
(published by NYU Press
; available on Google Books
). From the publisher's description:
The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in large part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their liberty to enslave others—and which today takes the form of a racialized conservatism and a persistent racism targeting the descendants of the enslaved.
Early in the book, Horne writes:
The construction of 'whiteness' or the forging of bonds between and among European settlers across class, gender, ethnic, and religious lines was a concrete response to the real dangers faced by all of these migrants in the face of often violent rebellions from enslaved Africans and their indigenous comrades.
He recently sat down with Paul Jay of the Real News Network for the show Reality Asserts Itself
. The result is a far-ranging discussion that covers his youth growing up in Jim Crow era St. Louis, his personal and intellectual development, pre-revolutionary America and the lucrative business of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Civil rights movement. The interview concludes by bringing us back to recent events, including the recent chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York, and the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. [more inside]
According to the Daptone Gold
compilation liner notes
(auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk
, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records
. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
An animated interpretation of the strange life of Boston Corbett,
the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. It was animated in charcoal, pastels and crayon on the pages of 12 paperback books. [more inside]
The Valley of the Shadow
is a digital archive of primary sources that document the lives of people in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, during the era of the American Civil War. Here you may explore thousands of original documents that allow you to see what life was like during the Civil War for the men and women of Augusta and Franklin.
Presented by the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia
The Photographic History of the Civil War
(10 vols.; 1911) offered context for thousands of striking images from the American Civil War
: 1 - The Opening Battles
; 2 - Two Years of Grim War
; 3 - The Decisive Battles
; 4 - The Cavalry
; 5 - Forts and Artillery
; 6 - The Navies
; 7 - Prisons and Hospitals
; 8 - Soldier Life / Secret Service
; 9 - Poetry and Eloquence of Blue and Gray
; 10 - Armies and Leaders
. It was also a capstone in the intriguing career of a little-known popular historian and silent era filmmaker. [more inside]
He tells you he is one of the martyrs now. He tells you it is not safe for you to stay in your apartment, that soldiers may come soon. At any moment. You agree. It is time to go. You don't have the leisure to cry now over Ali's death now but you are eternally saddened. You pack only the most essential belongings for yourself, Emad and Yara. Before you head down the stairs with your children, you take one last look back at your home and whisper,
xaatrak to yourself. Goodbye.
1,000 Days of Syria
is a "choose your own adventure" historical fiction newsgame
, in which you live the first 1,000 days of the Syrian conflict through the eyes of one of three optional characters. Guardian article
. [more inside]
"Of all the men known to have boarded the Hunley, indeed, only about half a dozen escaped death in her iron belly–yet McClintock himself survived the war, and one of the keys to understanding the events of 1879 is to establish why he did so."
Scam artists, war profiteers, double agents, possibly faked deaths, and the precursors to the IRA are all tied together by the designers and builders of the first combat submarine to sink a warship,
in the American Civil War.
Still Paying for the Civil War Each month, Irene Triplett collects $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a pension payment for her father's military service—in the Civil War.
Additionally, the article is rich in detail about what life was like for a young enlisted man during the Civil War and the years after.
John Bell Hood’s Leg
— "This marked Hood’s third major combat injury; he had suffered an arrow through the hand while fighting Comanche Indians in 1857, and had lost the function of his left arm after being struck by shell fragments at Gettysburg. Hood was a famous general, but he now faced an outlook shared by hundreds of thousands of other soldiers who were likewise injured during the war. He became dependent on the kindness of strangers, like the Little family, in order to start his long road to recovery in the midst of a realization that he would live the rest of his life as a disabled man." By Brian Craig Miller
, New York Times
, December 20, 2013.
Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
“I have read in my earlier years about prisoners in the revolutionary war, and other wars. It sounded noble and heroic to be a prisoner of war, and accounts of their adventures were quite romantic; but the romance has been knocked out of the prisoner of war business, higher than a kite. It's a fraud
.” [more inside]
from the Syrian civil war are being treated
in Israeli hospitals, some of them with referrals
from Syrian doctors. The identities of the patients and the route they have taken is being kept secret for fear of repercussions from authorities in Syria, which is formally at war with Israel. [more inside]
Why “Libertarian” Defenses of the Confederacy and “States’ Rights” are Incoherent
There is a strain of libertarian contrarianism that holds that the Confederate States of America were within their “rights” to secede from the Union. Such contrarianism on this particular topic is detrimental to the larger cause of liberty because the logic of this argument relies upon relinquishing individual rights to the whim of the state. Indeed, as there is no legal or moral justification for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War, it is impossible that there could be a libertarian one. [more inside]
NYT Editorial Filter -- "Now African-Americans make up about a fifth of the military. The idea that today we ask any of these soldiers to serve at a place named for a defender of a racist slavocracy is deplorable; the thought that today we ask any American soldier to serve at a base named for someone who killed United States Army troops is beyond absurd. Would we have a Fort Rommel? A Camp Cornwallis?" [more inside]
People are more likely to kill their fellow citizens as the gap between rich and poor increases. The same is not true of civil war — although you’d think people would be more likely to turn against the state rather than their neighbor as income inequality increased, this isn’t the case.
Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought. [more inside]
In 1960 or so, Professor Perry C. Van Arsdale was helping his 7-year-old granddaughter researching the Santa Fe trail. He found his granddaughter's textbook to have some number of errors. He set off to create a map of pioneer history (prior to the 1900's), using his own knowledge and information from judges, sheriffs, and descendants of historical figures
. This was his start in creating the Pioneer New Mexico map
, which would contain 300 towns that no longer exist
, old trails of all sorts
(including the three historic Santa Fe trails and various camel
routes), locations of minor squabbles and major battles, and because he couldn't fit everything on the maps, he also included extensive notes in the corner of the map
. [more inside]
sat at the conference table next to Frederick Douglass as they tried to convince President Abraham Lincoln that African Americans should be allowed to fight for their own freedom. He served five terms in Congress. He ran a newspaper and helped found a state Republican Party.
But first, he had to win his freedom.
Albert L. Comer Sr.
, 91, Maryland’s (or the USA's - article ambiguity) last surviving son of a Confederate veteran, died earlier this week. [more inside]
On Dec 11, 1862 the Union Army was pinned on the Northern shore of the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg
, unable to cross the river and invade the town. This desperate situation led to two decisions by General Burnside of the Union Army that ultimately had wide ranging effects not just on the outcome at Fredericksburg, but on how the US would conduct war in the future. [more inside]
"David Cronenberg's seldom seen 1972 made-for-TV movie, 'Secret Weapons'. It is six years into a future American civil war. A man has created a drug that enhances fighting skills. But will he give it to the theocratic government, or the rebels?" [Via]
How Things Fell Apart
, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives. [more inside]
Would the Northern and Southern United States be better off making it official (again)
? Chuck Thompson thinks so 
Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic
, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People
briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History
and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts.
“If ever men should celebrate the day with the rapt ardor of devotees, it is the soldiers of the Union,” bent on “saving the Union of the revolutionary fathers from destruction.”
The residents of Fredericksburg VA didn't celebrate Independence Day in 1862. It was no longer their Independence Day. However, just across the river, within both sight and sound of the residents of Fredericksburg, the Union Army threw a raucous celebration, complete with fireworks, artillery salutes, mule races, a greased pole, and a greased pig.
Southern Values Revived: How Our Elites Have Become Worse
"It’s been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don’t know is that they’re also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are. Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that’s corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here’s what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now." [more inside]
We Who Are About to Bug Out Salute You
Rutherford B. Hayes.... brought the troops home and ended Reconstruction, with the almost unanimous support of the nation’s liberal establishment. They too fought politically against slavery before the Civil War, risked their lives to emancipate its victims, and, too soon, couldn’t wait to bug out of the South.
What Did The Rebel Yell Sound Like?
(video): 'From the early 1900's through the 1940's, Civil War veterans were filmed, recorded and interviewed at reunions, parades, and other patriotic events where, as the century advanced, they came increasingly to seem like ambulatory trophies from some distant age of heroes.'
Hiram Cronk was born in 1800, at 14 he enlisted to fight the British, and in 1905, he passed away as the last veteran of the war of 1812. This amazing video shows the funeral procession
, featuring veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American war as they marched through Brooklyn. [more inside]
"I saw bodies of women and children lying on roads, beheaded."
At least 260 people were killed last night
in a government assault on Homs, the epicenter of the Syrian uprising. This came right before a key UN vote to support the Arab League's plan
to have President Bashar al-Assad hand over power to the vice president and hold early elections for a national unity government, which failed this morning with 13 in favor
and a double veto
by China and Russia
. [more inside]
Sandusky, Ohio is probably best known for its roller coasters
(and maybe the wineries in the area
), but one of the most interesting places--a tiny little island in the Sandusky Bay called Johnson's Island
--is very often overlooked. Once the home of a prison camp for confederate soldiers, daring (and not so daring) escapes, convoluted espionage schemes, poetry, and eating rats. [more inside]
During the US Civil War, metal monies were hoarded for their value, resulting in a shortage of available coins. The Union government issued official "paper coins" that weren't backed by by gold or silver
. This "faith paper" lost value quickly, and for a short while, stamps were official currency
. That didn't take, either, so enterprising individuals took it upon themselves to mint their own coinage. These are now known as Civil War Tokens
(CTWs), and were made and used between late 1862 and mid 1864. On April 22, 1864, Congress set the weight of coins
and set punishment for counterfeiting coins of up to one thousand dollars and imprisonment up to five years
. Yet there are over ten thousand varieties of tokens
, representing 22 states, 400 towns and about 1500 individual merchants. Melvin and his son Dr. George Fuld
wrote key books
in the CWT field, creating the rarity scale and composition key
used by most numismatists. Given sheer number of CWTs, starting a collection might be daunting. Enter collector Ken Bauer
, whose method breaks down the vast world
into smaller collections
, from anvils
The War Nerd (previously
) breaks tone somewhat to celebrate the life of Benjamin Grierson
, who would go from being kicked in the head by a horse as a youth to leading, "the greatest cavalry raid of the whole war, riding from Tennessee 600 miles almost due south through enemy territory to land safe in Baton Rouge, LA, inflicting ten times the casualties he had himself—and then going on to be the one white officer who stood up for the black freedmen 'Buffalo Soldiers' in the far West, at a time when America was using white-vs-black to heal up the raw North-vs-South scars."
150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA.
"Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired. Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph
. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War. Americans soon saw that a breakthrough
in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives."
On March 15, 1993, The Truth Commission for El Salvador published its report From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador. The Commission attributed the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero to the death squads, as well as the deaths of the victims of the El Mozote Massacre. ... Five days after the commission issued its report, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved an amnesty law covering all the violent events of the war.
In 2005, Manuel Bravo, 35, walked to a stairwell of the Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Center carrying a bedsheet. He hung himself. The note he left indicated that he had done it so that his son, Antonio Bravo, 13, could remain in the United Kingdom to be educated.
The pair were to be deported back to war-torn Angola the next day, where they alleged that they had been victims of abuse by the ruling party. Now, Antonio is 19, training to be an electrician, speaking in Yorkshire dialect, no longer speaks his native Porteguese, and will be deported back to Angola if his humanitarian visa is not extended. "My family, they're English," he said, referring to the Beaumonts (his adoptive family). "Britain, that's my culture." [more inside]
Ta-nehisi Coates sparks months of debate with his contention that The Civil War Isn't Tragic
. "The Civil War is our revolution. It ended slavery, and birthed both modern America, and modern black America.
That can never be tragic to me." [more inside]
Love and Valor
the movie is based on the book, Love and Valor – The Intimate Civil War Letters Between Captain Jacob and Emeline Ritner
Both projects by Charles Larimer. Hear him discuss these letters on Talk of Iowa
. Mentioned in this episode: University of Iowa Libraries Civil War Diaries and Letters
. Crowdsourcing transcription
of these letters.