Medication and Straight Jackets


Despite quitting my membership to the Museum of the Confederacy in April, I’m still receiving their newsletters. It appears that now they are now celebrating Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s book, "Reading the Man". My review on it is here:

Here’s what the MOC’s newsletter had to say about the book and its author:

"…The Museum is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 38th annual Jefferson Davis Award is Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters, published by Viking. The judges hailed Pryor’s book for “putting to rest the popular notion that the real Robert E. Lee can never be known…. Her biography is a true masterpiece.”

Elizabeth Brown Pryor has combined careers as an award-winning historian and senior diplomat in the American Foreign Service office. She is the author of Clara Barton: Professional Angel (1987). Reading the Man benefits from access to a wealth of newly-discovered Lee letters…."

Now why am I not surprised that the MOC is so "pleased" to announce an award to an author whose book joins a slew of books today which are highly critical of Confederate personages?

On a side note, one thing I (regretfully) forgot to mention in my Amazon review is that Ms. Pryor claims that there was a law in Virginia at the time which prohibited free blacks from living in the state. She doesn’t give any details on the law, she simply says that it was so. That’s very odd, because I can NAME NAMES of free blacks who lived in Virginia, as well as cite many specific examples of free people of color living in that state both before and during the war. If there was such a law, it doesn’t seem like anyone was paying it any mind….

Also, (regretfully), I neglected to mention in my review that Ms. Pryor also criticizes Lee for allowing the Custis slaves to grow their own produce. She hypothesizes that Lee did so probably because it saved him from having to give them more supplies than he did. In short, he allowed them to grow their own produce because it saved him money. It’s just conjecture mind you, but I have the feeling that had Lee refused to allow the slaves to grow their own produce, that he would have still come in for criticism from Ms. Pryor. It has the stench of that old “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” gambit.

There are 50 pages of actual letters in this book, not all by Lee and although I could be wrong, I could swear I’ve seen some letters before. Then there are about 400 or so pages of Ms. Pryor’s moaning and groaning about how culturally out of touch Lee was.

To be honest, I simply could not finish the book – If I had to read how culturally insensitive or biased Lee was one more time I would have tossed up last Thursday’s supper. Though I did peruse the letters themselves, I had to stop about half way through Ms. Pryor’s interpretations or risk a visit to the gastroenterologist.

The MOC is giving the "Jefferson Davis Award" award to a woman who makes Robert E Lee out to be a slave driver….. the "Jefferson Davis Award"? Something’s wrong with this picture?!

The Museum of the Confederacy is no longer a museum – IT’S A NUTHOUSE!

The hell with “bayonets”!?

Medication and straight jackets boys….Medication and straight jackets!

Bill Vallante
Commack NY
SCV Camp 3000 (Associate)
SCV Camp 1506 (Associate)
SCV Camp 1369 (Associate)