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October 14, 2018

Welcome from blogmaster cavalry_historian.

An opening comment:

The topic of portraying race in American literature and writing has rarely been a matter of step-by-step progress. It has proceeded in fits and starts, with backlashes coming on the heels of breakthroughs. It is difficult to write in the Civil War Genre today as anything that does not clearly condemn the South, the Confederacy, the plantation aristocracy, or the KKK by name is tainted by charges of indifference, disrespect, or even racism. This is not quite fair. Just writing in the Civil War Genre should not raise every uncomfortable issue. Moreover, the complaints are often arbitrary and misleading, or they reference omissions and subjective inferences. Yet “pushing aside unpleasant thoughts” is not a viable alternative for honest historians. Nor can all the uncomfortable monuments erected by our forebearers be torn down without damaging our culture. Any arrangement that a novelist or historian might choose for their topic results in inclusions and exclusions that privilege certain values and certain literary forms over others. Covering topics from Confederate personalities to daily living, to the impact of race and gender on events can create a daunting labyrinth for authors and historians. Fortunately, most of those...

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