To: johnsomp@MUOHIO.EDU, H-CIVWAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU
It would appear that Professor James Robertson has joined the ranks of the "Myth of the Lost Cause" Brigade. http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=30155
Sad, very sad….. It seems we have yet another book bent on busting up the Lost Cause with yet another Southerner contributing to it. And for good measure, the reviewer includes a swipe at Governor McDonnell’s Confederate History Month proclamation. Hey, can’t pass up an opportunity to apologize or express our regrets for slavery, now, can we?
“Governor McDonnnell’s ill-prepared proclamation”? Actually, I think he prepared it quite well. His failure occurred, not in its preparation, but in its defense, which was in fact, non-existent, and indeed, apologetic.
Like Diogenese, I wander the landscape with a lantern in search of an honest man. In this case I’m looking for a man willing to take a public stand against those who demand apologies, who issue recriminations and who inspire self-loathing in those of us who are in need of self-esteem. I look for that honest man to publicly proclaim that the people who make such demands are nothing more than self-serving demagogues, and to proclaim that those who comply with their demands are nothing more than fools and cowards…..“Where Have all the Heroes Gone”? Wasn’t that the name of a song a while back?
And the “Lost Cause” is not only simply a “myth”, as is now proclaimed by the wackademic community, but a “hackneyed” one as well? These guys do love their "myth busting," it seems. But why is it that all the myths that are busted these days are all on one side? Are there no myths to bust on the other side? I wonder, for example, if any of these alleged historians has a big enough "pair" to go out and thoroughly investigate a potential “myth” like…..
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, i.e., how many people actually ran away to the north or to Canada and how much of what is in books on this subject these days is pure hype……or …..perhaps do some research into how so many people who don’t know their a** from their elbow and who have never been more than 5 miles from home and who are so superstitious that the darkness inspires absolute terror in them (Read the WPA Slave Narratives if you don’t believe me), can so expertly pick out the north star and navigate by it in the pitch black darkness, for a thousand miles or more…..or…..
Do an exhaustive study on exactly what percentage of the vaunted USCT (United States Colored Troops) was there by choice, and what percentage was told to "join or die," and what percentage was there simply because they were told to be there (if you are used to being a slave, more likely than not, you will do what you are told, whether the person telling you wears a blue jacket or a gray one), and what percentage was there because, once you run away you have to do something that will give you food and shelter (or you will die), and the Union army represented one of the few options available to them……How about doing a real life portrayal of the USCT, instead of indulging in the phony baloney pretense that they were 189000 heroic freedom fighters who were just so eager to go out and get themselves shot to pieces? Funny how I don’t see many of these "intellectuals" willing to risk their careers pursuing the truth on something like this…. But truth isn’t what matters in academia these days – it is survival that matters. You are swimming in dangerous waters if you hold to historical interpretations deemed inappropriate or outmoded by your colleagues. You need to run with the herd to survive. And if ever there was proof positive that this is so, Professor Robertson proves it to be so by casting his lot with the herd.
History as a field, as it used to be, is gone. There is little or no honesty left in it anymore. If there were, someone would be asking how it is that Southerners could have as much disaffection for the Confederacy, as our “Lost Cause as a Myth” advocates claim, and yet…..THE WAR LASTS FOUR LONG BLOODY YEARS!? If Southerners were so pro-north, anti south, or just plain unmotivated, as is so often claimed by these experts, then who the hell was doing all the fighting and who was responsible for racking up the huge casualty lists??? What did nearly 700000 people die of….food poisoning? Sunstroke? Funny how no one seems to want to ask questions like that…. Indeed, “Where Have All the Heroes Gone?”…..
And so, on and on it goes….. a never-ending slew of books which serve no useful purpose, except perhaps to give us some insight into what it is that, on occasion, makes civilized people want to go out and engage in wholesale book burning.
Myth Of The Lost Cause