Monthly Archives

May 2018


Lee the Philosopher

Our culture has, of late, become rather fixated on the idea that every historical figure in our past should have anticipated how moral worldviews would evolve after his or her death. Now, clearly, this is impossible. Picasso and Hemingway, to take two great artists who were also generally terrible people, could not (and should not) have thought about how their…
R.M. Stangler
May 31, 2018

Defending the Monuments

After the Charleston shooting in 2015, all across the old Confederacy memorials, monuments, flags and other symbols of the South’s Confederate history came under renewed and severe assault. It seemed that the last vestiges of that heritage might be swept away in a paroxysm of politically-driven outrage and media-hyped efforts to purge the landscape of those symbols. In many ways…
Boyd Cathey
May 30, 2018
Review Posts

Cracks in the Treasury of Virtue

A review of Division and Reunion: America, 1848-1877, by Ludwell H. Johnson, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1978. 301 pages; and The Secret Six: John Brown and the Abolitionist Movement, by Otto Scott, New York: Times Books, 1979, 375 pages. It was Flannery O'Connor who remarked, in one of her short essays, that people will believe anything about the…
Clyde Wilson
May 29, 2018

The Only Way to Drain the Swamp

“When you are up to your hindquarters in alligators—it is hard to remember that your intentions were to drain the swamp.”  This old country-boy saying seems most appropriate for President Trump as he attempts to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. The continuing efforts of the ruling elite in Washington to destroy a lawfully elected president because “their” anointed candidate…

Podcast Episode 122

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 21-25, 2018 Topics: Yankees, Nationalism, Southern Tradition
Brion McClanahan
May 26, 2018

Star Wars and Gone With The Wind

Given that the Star Wars franchise seems to have degenerated into yet another vehicle for the transmission of political-correctness, it seems a little ironic that the newest installment of the series will revolve around the one character with an undeniable connection to the South -- Han Solo.  George Lucas's wisecracking smuggler borrowed some of his best lines from the cynical…
Jerry Salyer
May 25, 2018

White Knights of the North

When the majority of people think of the Ku Klux Klan, there undoubtedly comes to mind a relic of post-Confederate racism that has now morphed into dangerous groups of rabidly anti-Black Southerners dressed in white hoods, burning crosses and waving Confederate Battle Flags. However, the real story of the White Knights of the Invisible Empire, as they were also referred…
John Marquardt
May 24, 2018

An Appeal to Southern Graduates

This spring thousands of graduates coming out of the high schools and colleges across the South will be hearing a similar message: Go far!  Dream big!  Succeed!  Break the mold! But we hope they will not listen to it.  We hope they will do the opposite: Stay home, dream small, be content, be unknown. The duty of the young is…
Walt Garlington
May 23, 2018
Review Posts

Killing the Incorporation Doctrine

A review of The 14th Amendment and the Incorporation Doctrine by David Benner (Minneapolis: Life and Liberty Publishing Group, 2017) Even though I have always been a strong advocate of states’ rights and sovereignty, and for safeguarding the federal system, the “incorporation doctrine” had always troubled me. What is meant by the “incorporation doctrine”? The application, by the federal courts,…
Ryan Walters
May 22, 2018

Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset

I recently traveled to Texas to speak about South Africa, at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A & M University. To travel from the Pacific Northwest all the way to College Station, Texas, without experiencing more of the Lone Star State was not an option. So, after driving from Austin eastward to College Station (where I was hosted…
Ilana Mercer
May 21, 2018

Podcast Episode 121

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 14-18, 2018 Topics: Southern tradition, Yankees, Confederate symbols, Jeffersonianism, Southern identity
Brion McClanahan
May 19, 2018

On Remaining Humble in Modern Academia

After reading Richard Weaver’s monumental work Ideas Have Consequences last semester I was struck with one characterization of the “ideal man” that has since been shaping the way I look at my own academic future. For a young seminary student like myself pursuing “Christ-likeness” was a given, but my eyes were never fully open to what that meant in relation…
Jonathan Harris
May 18, 2018

Confederate Monuments and Racism

When New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu succeeded in removing three Confederate monuments, he said those three statues to Lee, Beauregard and Davis represented “terrorism.” “. . . hey were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city,” he added. Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio…
Thomas J. Crane
May 17, 2018

Yankee Sanctification

“It was my first introduction to damn Yankees,” my oldest sister remarked of her first semester at James Madison University in the fall of 1982. It was here, at this university nestled in the mountains of Virginia and named after one of the state’s most famous sons, that her Northern dormitory suite-mates were horrified by such flagrant abuse of their…
Dissident Mama
May 16, 2018
Review Posts

Death by Taxes

A review of For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization by Charles Adams (Madison Books, 2001). Why can’t American Presidents learn that if you raise taxes on the American people they will vote you out? George Bush crashed because he raised taxes, and Bill Clinton will go down as soon as the people get…
William J. Quirk
May 15, 2018

Southern Identity in the 21st Century

What exactly does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st Century? Is it spending countless hours finding out who your Confederate ancestor is and joining up with the local Sons of Confederate Veterans? Or is it driving around town with a Confederate flag bumper sticker on the back of your pickup truck? Or maybe it’s being “that guy”…
Lewis Liberman
May 14, 2018

Podcast Episode 120

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 7-11, 2018. Topics: Southern culture, Southern history, the War, "Memory Studies"
Brion McClanahan
May 12, 2018

That Embarrassing Analogy

Is there a genuine analogy between the secession of South Carolina from the USA and the secession of Lithuania from the USSR? Or between the actions of Lincoln and Gorbachev? The press either ignores the parallels or asserts that the two secessions are somehow different. Of course they're different; but an analogy stresses what different things have in common. World…
Sheldon Vanauken
May 11, 2018

Donald Davidson Revisted

Mel Bradford has argued that no individual has exerted more influence upon the development of a profession of letters this century in the South than Donald Davidson. The poet, essayist, and social critic is well known to most literary scholars and historians of the South; however, Davidson’s critique of the Southern experience remains largely unappreciated. Several years ago the author…
H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
May 10, 2018

In Search of the Real Abe Lincoln

No one interested in American history can escape Abraham Lincoln. Over the years the outpouring of books, articles, essays, and poems has been enormous, so much so that this form of activity is sometimes referred to as “the Lincoln industry.” With all of this attention devoted to one man, how can there be a “Lincoln puzzle”? Surely all Americans know…
Review Posts

Making the Southern Canon

A review of Fifty Southern Writers After 1900: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. Ed. by Joseph M. Flora and Robert Bain. Greenwood Press, 1987. A few years ago, before I had been sold upriver to Clemson, some colleagues and I were busily devising a graduate reading list for the Ph.D. program in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. (I had been…

Confederate Dead The Confederate Dead (1867) By Latienne From the broad and calm Potomac, To the Rio Grande's waves, Have the brave and noble fallen — And the earth is strewn with graves, In the vale and on the hill-side, Through the wood and by the stream, Has the martial pageant faded, Like the vision of a dream. Where the reveille…
Brion McClanahan
May 7, 2018

Podcast Episode 119

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Apr 30-May 4, 2018 Topics: Southern conservatism, Yankees, Neoconservatives, Northern secession, the French Revolution
Brion McClanahan
May 5, 2018

The Essex Junto

It was the purchase of Louisiana, therefore, which gave impetus to a plan which had been creeping upon New England, aided and stimulated by the Essex Junto. They agreed that the inevitable consequences of the annexation of this vast territory would be to diminish the relative weight and influence of the Northern section; that it would aggravate the evils of…

The Sensory Poetry of Dubose Heyward

Dubose Heyward once described himself as a “synthetic Charlestonian.” Having been part French Huguenot and part English Cavalier, he was a direct descendant of South Carolina’s Thomas Heyward Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Born in Charleston in 1885, he was a major part of the Southern Literary Renaissance and wrote extensive poetry and fiction. Southern identity came…
Michael Martin
May 3, 2018

How the Neocons Destroyed Southern Conservatism

No discussion of Southern conservatism, its history and its relationship to what is termed broadly the “American conservative movement” would be complete without an examination of events that have transpired over the past fifty years and the pivotal role of the powerful intellectual current known as Neoconservatism. From the 1950s into the 1980s Southerners who defended the traditions of the…
Boyd Cathey
May 2, 2018
Review Posts

The Last Gasp

A review of The Last Hurrah by Kyle S. Sinisi (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). General Sterling Price’s attempt to liberate Missouri from Union occupation in late 1864 was the last gasp of the Confederacy. Price was a late convert to secessionism and President Jefferson Davis suspected his loyalty. There were also unsubstantiated rumors that unknown people intended to overthrow Davis and put…
John C. Whatley
May 1, 2018