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The Attack on Leviathan, Part 4

X. American Heroes Originally published as “A Note on American Heroes” in the Southern Review (1935). Whatever else we lack, we do not lack great memories. We have heroes, and we want to possess them affectionately as a mature nation ought. The American mind is divided against itself. Our approach to “what terms we may possess our heroes” is as…
Chase Steely
October 7, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The 200 Most Important Confederate Books

In 1978, Georgia native Richard Harwell--older brother of the famous baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell--published In Tall Cotton, a list of the 200 most important Confederate books. He asked fellow Georgian E. Merton Coulter to write the introduction knowing that this list would provide a valuable resource to those seeking to understand both Southern history and the Confederacy. Modern establishment historians…
Brion McClanahan
August 31, 2022
BlogReview Posts

Confessions of a Copperhead

A review of Confessions of a Copperhead: Culture and Politics in the Modern South (Shotwell Press, 2022) by Mark Royden Winchell The concept of the South as a peculiar and singular region of America, indeed not quite American except in its vices of racism and violence, is something of an industry in the halls of academia. Numerous university centers and…
John Devanny
August 18, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals

A review of The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals (Regnery History, 2022) by Samuel Mitcham The valor of the Confederate Army is one of the greatest stories in American history. Southerners needed brilliant leaders because they faced such overwhelming odds. They were outnumbered four to one and outgunned a hundred to one. The author’s purpose of the book is to make…
Jeff Wolverton
July 21, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The Confederate Navy

A review of Roster of North Carolinians in Confederate Naval Service: Confederate States Navy & Marne Corps (Scuppernong Press, 2021) Compiled and edited by Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Sion H. Harrington III. The monumental series, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, began during the “Civil War” Centennial in 1961, under the direction of Dr. Louis Manarin, and has continued until recently,…
Boyd Cathey
July 12, 2022
BlogReview Posts

Blacks in Gray

A Review of Blacks in Gray Uniforms (Arcadia, 2018) by Phillip Thomas Tucker South Carolina Confederate history is my area of research, so I was interested to come across the book Blacks in Gray Uniforms, which gives information on some black Confederate soldiers from the Palmetto State, and I wanted to bring it to the attention of the readers of…
Karen Stokes
May 18, 2022
BlogReview Posts

Arm in Arm

A review of Arm in Arm (Mercer, 2022) by Catharine Savage Brosman Our conscious civilisation begins with Homer and is firmly anchored in Virgil, Dante, the French troubadours, and the Viking bards.  Its deepest expressions are in verse.  William Faulkner may have had something like this in mind when he  lamented that he was “only a failed poet.” That is…
Clyde Wilson
May 6, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The Dreadful Frauds

A review of The Dreadful Frauds: Critical Race Theory and Identity Politics, (Shotwell Publishing, 2022) by Philip Leigh In one hundred pages, author Philip Leigh has given us a scathing indictment of Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics, and the corrupting influences of both on America’s two hundred and fifty year meritocracy. It exposes the power politics of the Victimhood Olympics…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
March 24, 2022
BlogReview Posts

What We Have to Expect

A review of How Radical Republican Antislavery Rhetoric and Violence Precipitated Secession, October 1859 - April 1861 (Abbeville Institute Press, 2022) by David Jonathan White. One of the tragic casualties of America’s long culture war is the distortion of the country’s central event, The War Between the States. During the 1950s, historians such as Avery Craven began to question the…
John Devanny
February 15, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The Yankee’s Lee

This essay was originally published in the First Quarter 1992 issue of Southern Partisan. A Review of: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History (UNC Press, 1991) by Alan T. Nolan When Frank Owsley sought from among the vast number of interpretations of the cause of the war of 1861 for the principal cause, he defined it as “egocentric…
David Bovenizer
January 19, 2022
BlogReview Posts

20/20 Moral Hindsight

A Review of: Richard B. Russell, Jr. Senator from Georgia (UNC Press, 1991) by Gilbert C. Fite “We can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” Booker T. Washington, speech to the Atlanta Exposition, 1885 Speaking of the current trend toward all-black dormitories, fraternities, and graduation exercises, Coretta Scott…
Charles Goolsby
January 18, 2022
BlogReview Posts

The Right Side of History

A review of Robert E. Lee: A Life (Random House, 2021) by Allen Guelzo “How do you write the biography of someone who commits treason?” asks historian Allen C. Guelzo in his new book Robert E. Lee: A Life. It’s a bit of an odd question for a historian to ask. Sure, treason is a terrible crime. But so are…
Casey Chalk
November 23, 2021
Review Posts

Social Justice is Our New Religion

A review of Christianity and Social Justice: Religions in Conflict (Reformation Zion Publishing, 2021) by Jon Harris Writing during the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy in the 1920s, Princeton New Testament scholar J. Gresham Machen argued that Christianity and liberalism are hostile and antithetical religious systems. “In the sphere of religion,” wrote Machen, “in particular, the present time is a time of conflict;…
Darrell Dow
November 9, 2021
Review Posts

When in the Course of Human Events

A review of When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (Rowman & Littlefield,  2004) by Charles Adams Did the South go to war for sport? Not being a professional historian, my historical toolbox is not large. But one tool has often gotten me to the heart of past events. That tool is to ask:…
Terry Hulsey
October 19, 2021
Review Posts

Spencer Roane: The Forgotten Founder

A review of Irreconcilable Founders: Spencer Roane, John Marshall, and the Nature of America's Constitutional Republic (LSU Press, 2021) by David Johnson Of all the leading Jeffersonians of the early Republic—Jefferson, Madison, John Randolph of Roanoke, and John Taylor of Caroline—Spencer Roane is arguably the most obscure. This obscurity is lamentable because while Jefferson and Madison built and led their party,…
Aaron N. Coleman
September 30, 2021
Review Posts

Break It Up

A review of Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union (Little Brown, 2020) by Richard Kreitner Horrors! Richard Kreitner, a neo-Confederate? How will he, in the stable of Leftist The Nation magazine, founded as a successor to abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, ever publish again! One must admire Kreitner’s gift of writing in…
Terry Hulsey
September 14, 2021
Review Posts

Our Comfort in Dying

A review of Our Comfort in Dying (Sola Fide Publications, 2021), R. L. Dabney and Jonathan W. Peters, ed. Dabney “was fearless and faithful in the discharge of every duty. . . . was a Chaplain worth having.”  --Col. Robert E. Withers, Commander, 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment, 1861 In the current American dystopia, the life and ministry of an Old…
Forrest L. Marion
August 24, 2021
Review Posts

Chaining Down Leviathan

A review of Chaining Down Leviathan: The American Dream of Self-Government 1776-1865 (Abbeville Institute Press, 2021) by Marco Bassani How is it that America became a “strong but limited” government, and the world’s richest and most free country? That is the central question both considered and answered by Luigi Marco Bassani in his new work, Chaining Down Leviathan: The American…
Dave Benner
August 10, 2021
Review Posts

Lincoln and the Border States

A review of Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union (University Press of Kansas, 2014) by William C. Harris. William C. Harris has set before him the admirable task of examining whether the border states indeed “unequivocally cast their lot with the Union” in 1861 (page 8). Unfortunately, his political views send him into the issue with one hand…
Terry Hulsey
June 29, 2021
Review Posts

A Primer on Secession

A review of  Secession, State & Liberty, (Transaction, 1998) edited with an introduction by David Gordon. If there is a single book you should read on the subject of secession, Secession, State & Liberty is the one. Best of all, this collection of essays is entirely free, here: https://mises.org/library/secession-state-and-liberty The key point of the book is the demonstration that secession…
Terry Hulsey
May 18, 2021
Review Posts

Separate but Equal?

A Review of Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation (W.W. Norton, 2019) by Steve Luxenberg In 21st-Century America, there are precious few mediums through which the issue of race can be addressed with even a modicum of rationality.  One of the few means still available is the thorough, well-researched work produced by…
Joshua Doggrell
April 13, 2021
Review Posts

Robert E. Lee and Me

A review of Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause (St. Martin's Press, 2021) by Ty Seidule A number of good historians have written reviews recently of Ty Seidule's book, Robert E. Lee and Me, including historian Phil Leigh who produced the video, Robert E. Lee and (Woke General) Please Like Me.…
Gene Kizer, Jr.
April 6, 2021
Review Posts

Secession’s Magic Numbers, Part II

A serial review of books numbering the States after a dissolution of the Union. A review of Around the Cragged Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy (W.W. Norton, 1993) by George F. Kennan and The Nine Nations of North America (Houghton Mifflin, 1981) by Joel Garreau. Although his suggestion that the United States might be better off breaking into 12…
Terry Hulsey
March 23, 2021
Review Posts

The Greatest of All Leathernecks

A review of The Greatest of All Leathernecks (LSU Press, 2019) by Joseph Simon. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in eastern North Carolina along the Atlantic shore or was blessed to wear the insignia of the United States Marines is well-aware of the name John A. Lejeune.  In this biography by Joseph Simon we are introduced to…
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
March 16, 2021
Review Posts

Conservatism and the Southern Tradition

A review of Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (All Points Books, 2018) by Sir Roger Scruton. There is no such thing as conservatism, according to Sir Roger Scruton’s 155-page monograph, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition. That is, there is no unified theory of conservatism because it is always localized to a time, a place, and a…
Duncan Killen
January 20, 2021
Review Posts

Deep Water

A review of Deep Water: The Mississippi River in the Age of Mark Twain (LSU Press, 2019) by Thomas Ruys Smith In Deep Water: the Mississippi River in the Age of Mark Twain prominent Mississippi River scholar Thomas Ruys Smith examines the literature surrounding the Mississippi River from the late 19th to the early 20th Century. Smith analyzes Mississippi River…
Jason Stewart
January 12, 2021
Review Posts

James Henley Thornwell and the Metaphysical Confederacy

A review of The Metaphysical Confederacy: James Henley Thornwell and the Synthesis of Southern Values (Second Edition; Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1999) by James Farmer The role of religion leading up to the War Between the States is sometimes overlooked. However, there is no question that Christian clergy had a major influence on the Old South, including the politics…
Zachary Garris
December 8, 2020
Review Posts

Edmund Kirby Smith

A review of General Edmund Kirby Smith C.S.A. (LSU Press, 1992 (1954) by Joseph H. Parks This biography is a must read for any student of the War for Southern Independence in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. It is an informative broad overview of Smith’s life and career, while also humanizes the man who was often subject to heavy criticism during and,…
Wes Franklin
December 1, 2020
Review Posts

John Brown’s Body

A Review of The Secret Six: John Brown and the Abolitionist Movement (Uncommon Books, 1993) by Otto Scott. The Leftist political violence that has engulfed the disintegrating American nation for much of the past year traces its origin on the North American continent to the infernal life of the original American terrorist, John Brown. Like the terrorists of today who…
Neil Kumar
November 17, 2020
Review Posts

Secession Becomes Thinkable

A review of American Secession: The Looming Threat of a National Breakup (Encounter Books, 2020) by F.H. Buckley When asked whether a state can constitutionally secede from the United States, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia brushed the question aside, saying the matter was settled by the Civil War. He was wrong. A Zogby poll in 2018 found that 39 percent of…
Donald Livingston
October 20, 2020
Review Posts

Flowering Wisdom

A Review of Chained Tree, Chained Owls, Poems (Green Altar Books, 2020) by Catharine Savage Brosman. This is Catharine Savage Brosman’s twelfth book of poems, and the praise for her work has increased with each new publication. This review will follow suit; and in order to demonstrate-- to point out clearly-- this new level of excellence, it is best to…
William Wilson
October 6, 2020
Review Posts

“You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me”

A review of Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music (University of California Press, 2014) by Nadine Hubbs If I had been told a short while ago that I would soon read a book by the Professor of Women’s Studies and Music at the University of Michigan, I would not have believed it. Had I further been told that the author would…
Joshua Doggrell
September 8, 2020
Review Posts

New Confederate Territory

A review of Cleburne: A Graphic Novel (Rampart Press, 2008) by Justin S. Murphy and others. The graphic novel is a major feature of literature in these times.  Southerners can indeed be happy that the Confederacy has entered this field in grand style.  Murphy is a nationally notable animator, writer, publisher, composer, and prize-winning dramatist from Florida.  As a youth…
Clyde Wilson
August 25, 2020
Review Posts

Words of Wisdom

A review of Southern Scribblings (Red Mill Publishing, 2020) by Brion McClanahan In an age in which error, falsehood, and perversion are regaled by the politically correct, neo-Marxist as being America’s new normal, Brion McClanahan’s new book, Southern Scribblings, provides Southerners with a compass pointing them back to the tradition of virtue, honor, and the American principles of constitutionally limited…
James Ronald Kennedy
August 4, 2020
Review Posts

The Seventeenth Amendment and the Siren Song of Democracy

A Review of The Road to Mass Democracy: Original Intent and the Seventeenth Amendment (Routledge, 2017) by C.H. Hoebeke On April 8, 1913, the requisite three quarters of the State legislatures kneecapped themselves, surrendering to “the people” their authority to elect Senators of the United States. The ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, which provided for the direct popular election of…
Neil Kumar
July 8, 2020
Review Posts

The Age of Entitlement

A review of The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties (Simon and Schuster, 2020) by Christopher Caldwell In his recently (2020) published book The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell, a northeast “intellectual” boldly proclaimed something that few Southerners would dare to say. He declares that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 created, “a rival constitution, with which the original…
Review Posts

The Graces of Flannery O’Connor

A review of Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Friends (Convergent Books, 2019) edited by Benjamin Alexander. One of the more agreeable and important books about literature to emerge recently is Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Friends, edited by Benjamin Alexander who recently retired from teaching literature…
Review Posts

Armies of Deliverance

A Review of Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2019) by Elizabeth R. Varon. Yankee arrogance may be the most dangerous malady on the planet. “Communist engineering” is deadly, to be sure. Before Wuhan, there was Chernobyl, Sverdlovsk, and the Great Leap Forward. But whereas communism has a shelf life, Yankee arrogance never…
Jason Morgan
April 28, 2020
Review Posts

No Worse Enemy. No Better Friend

A review of In Defense of Andrew Jackson (Regnery History, 2018) by Bradley J. Birzer I was recently in Nashville, Tennessee, with family, and took the opportunity to visit Andrew Jackson’s home-turned-museum, “The Hermitage.” I have to admit, it was amusing for me to hear the historians whom were interviewed by the museum become outright “historicists” (as the Straussians/Jaffaites would…
James Rutledge Roesch
April 21, 2020
Review Posts

Grant a Better General Than Lee? No.

A review of Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian (Regnery History, 2012) by Edward Bonekemper, III. I don’t think a person of sound mind and impartial understanding of the so-called Civil War could get past the second paragraph of the introduction of Edward H. Bonekemper III’s book Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian without realizing that…
Joe Wolverton
April 14, 2020
Review Posts

Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee

A review of The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee (Forge Books, 2006) by Thomas Fleming Fleming uses this 2006 fictional courtroom drama to formulate arguments for his 2013 Disease in the Public Mind non-fiction book identifying the causes of the Civil War. The story is set in early June 1865 when Robert E. Lee is secretly tried by a military commission…
Philip Leigh
April 7, 2020
Review Posts

Roots of a Revolutionary Ideology

A review of Progressivism: The Strange History of a Radical Idea (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) by Bradley C.S. Watson At the height of the Progressive Movement in 1914, William P. Merrill published a poem he called “The Day of the People Is Dawning.” The liberal Presbyterian minister and ally of Andrew Carnegie’s world peace movement bid farewell to…
Richard M. Gamble
March 31, 2020
Review Posts

Individual Responsibility and Guilt

A review of Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) by Susan Neiman Susan Neiman is a philosopher who has written well-regarded books on Kant and on the problem of evil. Last year she published a book with an unusual title: Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil.  Neiman…
David Gordon
March 24, 2020
Review Posts

Kentucky Hobbits

A review of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot (Ignatius Press, 2014), by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards. Russell Kirk often said that his true formation as a conservative had more to do with reading the novels of Sir Walter Scott than anything else. We also know from James Kibler’s work,…
Garrett Agajanian
March 17, 2020
Review Posts

The Myth of the Lost Cause

A review of The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won (Regnery History, 2015 ) by Edward Bonekemper The late Edward H. Bonekemper III had a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College and a master's degree in American history from Old Dominion University. He also had a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. He retired…
John C. Whatley
March 10, 2020
Review Posts

A Mass for the Resurrection

A review of Who Owns America? A New Declaration of Independence (ISI Books, 1999) edited by Herbert Agar and Allen Tate In graduate school, I was assigned by the resident “New South” historian I’ll Take My Stand by Twelve Southerners as my final paper.  I eagerly accepted the project.  This was in my back-yard, so to speak.  I had read…
Brion McClanahan
March 3, 2020
Review Posts

The Recovery of History

A Review of Old Times There Should Not Be Forgotten (Shotwell Publishing, 2020) by Leslie R. Tucker If I were to classify my own regional sense of identity, I would say I am a Tennessean born and bred first; second, a North Carolinian by adoption; third, a Southerner, and finally, an American. Like Leslie Tucker, I am disturbed by the…
Michael Potts
February 25, 2020
Review Posts

How to Study History

A review of How to Study History When Seeking Truthfulness and Understanding: Lessons Learned from Outside Academia by Howard Ray White Howard White has written a dozen or so highly original books on the War Between the States (Bloodstains, The C.S.A. Trilogy, and others). In the midst of a very successful career as a chemical engineer, he was drawn to the…
Clyde Wilson
February 18, 2020
Review Posts

Small is Still Beautiful

A review of Small Is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered (ISI Books, 2006) by Joseph Pearce. There’s not too much that’s actually wrong about this book, other than it proves itself totally unnecessary. Obviously from the title you know that it is based on Fritz Schumacher’s great classic of 1973, and it does a lot of quoting from…
Kirkpatrick Sale
February 11, 2020
Review Posts

Two Visions of America

A review of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story (Encounter Books, 2019) by Wilfred M. McClay. Two Visions of America What is America? If America is a place, then it will have a history like other places. People will do things, those things will have consequences, other people will be pleased or embittered or indifferent, and…
Jason Morgan
February 4, 2020
Review Posts

The Craggy Hill of Slavery

A review of It Wasn't About Slavery: Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Regnery History, 2020) by Samuel Mitcham On a huge hill, Cragged and steep, Truth stands, and he that will Reach her, about must and about must go, And what the hill’s suddenness resists, win so. John Donne, Satire III As John Donne so correctly informs…
Review Posts

Two Lees

A review of Robert E. Lee at War: Hope Arises from Despair (Legion of Honor Publishing, 2017) by Scott Bowden and The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won (Regnery History, 2015) by Edward H. Bonekemper III. Did Robert E. Lee lose the War for the South? If you believe…
Brion McClanahan
January 21, 2020
Review Posts

An Aesthetic Feast

A review of An Aesthetic Education and Other Stories (Green Altar Books, 2019) by Catharine Savage Brosman One of the most felicitous occurrences in literature is when a first-rate poet turns his or her talents to the writing of short fiction.  Among those who have done so, turning out first-rate stories, have been William Carlos Williams, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bishop,…
Randall Ivey
January 14, 2020
Review Posts

The First Campaign

A review of Lee vs. McClellan, The First Campaign (Regnery Publishing, 2010) by Clayton R. Newell. The title of this work is misleading, since Robert E. Lee never fielded troops against George B. McClellan. In fact, they never met on the battlefields, as McClellan had a unified command structure and ordered his troops about while Lee had to contend with…
John C. Whatley
January 7, 2020
Review Posts

Christmas

How grace this hallowed day? Shall happy bells, from yonder ancient spire, Send their glad greetings to each Christmas fire Round which the children play? Alas! for many a moon, That tongueless tower hath cleaved the Sabbath air, Mute as an obelisk of ice, aglare Beneath an Arctic noon. Shame to the foes that drown Our psalms of worship with…
Henry Timrod
December 24, 2019
Review Posts

Southern Anticolonialism

A review of Burden of Dependency: Colonial Themes in Southern Economic Thought (Johns Hopkins, 1992) by Joseph Persky An Under-Appreciated Book In 1973, the young economist Joseph J. Persky wrote piece in Southern Exposure with a promising title: “The South: A Colony at Home.” He recalls thinking at the time that he was in “some sort of “vanguard.” I read…
Joseph R. Stromberg
December 17, 2019
Review Posts

Real Southern Sport

A review of Maxcy Gregg’s Sporting Journals, 1842-1858 (Green Altar Books, 2019) Suzanne Parfitt Johnson, Editor. Foreword by James Everett Kibler, Jr. The exploration of everyday life in a given historical period is often based upon the letters, diaries, and business ledgers and journals of the past.  Historians in the last four to five decades have also incorporated the findings…
John Devanny
December 10, 2019
Review Posts

Dross in the Midst of Wheat: Flawed Arguments Against Common Enemies

A review of  Erasing America: Losing our Future by Destroying our Past (Regnery Publishing, 2018) by James S. Robbins James Robbins’ book, Erasing America, targets the most egregious enemies of the current American culture: the radical Leftists who seek to destroy the past. Although there are strong points to the book, particularly in pointing out the sheer silliness of politically…
Michael Potts
December 3, 2019
Review Posts

Does the South Exist?

A Review of The Idea of The American South, 1920-1941, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979) by Michael O’Brien. I have an invitation to extend to Michael O’Brien, the British author of The Idea of the American South, 1920-1941. At his convenience, I would like Mr. O’Brien to accompany me to a small establishment (one of those notorious Southern "fighting and…
James J. Thompson, Jr.
November 19, 2019
Review Posts

Nathan Bedford Forrest: The Hero in Fiction

A review of None Shall Look Back (J.S. Sanders, 1992) by Caroline Gordon Thus far the War Between the States has failed to produce an epic like The Iliad, a narrative account of the four-year conflict that would include the exploits of all the heroes of both sides. In fact, few Southern novelists have written fictional accounts of Confederate warriors—…
Jane Brown
November 12, 2019
Review Posts

The Real Thing

A Review of The Everlasting Circle: Letters of the Haskell Family of Abbeville, South Carolina, 1861—1865. (Mercer University Press, 2019) Edited by Karen Stokes. Participants in the Old South and the Confederacy were conscientious in preserving their documents, as were several succeeding generations.  They knew that their history was important and that it would suffer massive misrepresentation.  As a result,…
Clyde Wilson
November 5, 2019
Review Posts

The Secession Movement in the Middle States

A review of The Secession Movement in the Middle Atlantic States (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1973) by William C. Wright (WCW) "Historical writing during the Civil War and immediately after noted the existence of these men. As the years passed, however, historians came to accept the view that Lincoln had the full support of the North prior to the attack…
Vito Mussomeli
October 29, 2019
Review Posts

A Confederate Dialogue

A review of The Lytle-Tate Letters: The Correspondence of Andrew Lytle and Allen Tate (University of Mississippi Press, 1987), Thomas Daniel Young and Elizabeth Sarcone, eds. Considering Allen Tate’s well-documented contrariness, the four-decade-long friendship of Tate and Andrew Lytle must be considered one of the great creative acts in the lives of both men. That the two men could keep…
Tom Rash
October 22, 2019
Review Posts

The Bard of Kentucky

A review of Wendell Berry: Port William Novels and Stories (Library of America, 2018), Jack Shoemaker, ed. The long shelf of fiction by Wendell Berry—overshadowed by the colossal green canopy of his poetry and agrarian essays—has been brought into the light by the Library of America. Wendell Berry: Port William Novels and Stories, the first of two volumes that will…
Rafael Alvarez
October 15, 2019
Review Posts

Ode to Father Abraham

A review of Lincoln (Simon and Schuster, 1995) by David Herbert Donald Professor David Herbert Donald of Harvard University, a son of Mississippi and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is one of the most prominent historians of the late twentieth century. His biography of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts—probably the most sanctimonious politician in American history— earned that statesman the label…
Kevin R.C. Gutzman
October 8, 2019
Review Posts

Capitalism and Forced Labor

A review of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books, 2014) by Edward Baptist Recent polling of the millennials’ attitudes toward socialism suggests that higher education on the postmodern campus has better prepared graduates to denounce capitalism than to defend it. Undergraduate enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid speaks to the point.…
Robert L. Paquette
September 24, 2019
Review Posts

American Empire

A review of American Empire: A Global History (Princeton, 2018) by A.G. Hopkins From the beginning, America has been a house divided. As Andrés Reséndez details in The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, the North American continent has, since long before the arrival of Europeans, been a place of dominion and servitude. The influx of…
Jason Morgan
September 17, 2019
Review Posts

To Die in Chicago

A review of To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas (Pelican, 1999) by George Levy The dead are buried somewhere in Chicago and there are over 4,000 of them—that much we know. Treatment was just as harsh in most other Northern prison camps - worse in Elmira. But at least they keep better track of the corpses produced.…
David Wade
September 10, 2019
Review Posts

Real Conservatism

A review of The Southern Tradition: The Achievements and Limitations of Southern Conservatism (Harvard, 1994) by Eugene Genovese The notion of a Southern polit­ical tradition can be understood as conservative, complete, and consistent with its roots. Eugene Genovese’s The Southern Tradition poignantly articulates these qualities from the perspec­tive of a Marxist gone conserva­tive—a Southern conservative, indeed. Elucidating Genovese’s understanding of…
Won Kim
September 3, 2019
Review Posts

The C.S.A.

A review of The C.S.A. Trilogy (Independent, 2018) by Howard Ray White. A beautiful thought experiment for Southerners. The year is 2011, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Confederate States of America.    Celebrants are gathering in the capital, Davis, located where Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee come together. Confederates have every reason to celebrate. They have a free, prosperous,…
Clyde Wilson
August 27, 2019
Review Posts

Grant’s Failed Presidency

A review of U.S. Grant's Failed Presidency (Shotwell Publishing, 2019) by Philip Leigh There was a time in recent memory when thoughtful people consistently ranked U.S. Grant's presidency as one of the worst in history. The scandals, military Reconstruction, the mistreatment of the Plains Indian tribes, and the poor economy during the 1870s wrecked his reputation. That all began to…
Brion McClanahan
August 20, 2019
Review Posts

Punished with Poverty

A review of Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South-Prosperity to Poverty & the Continuing Struggle (Shotwell, 2016) by James Ronald and Walter Donald Kennedy This is one of the most important works of American history that  has appeared in many a year.  If enough Southern people could absorb the lesson of this book, it would bring about a complete reorientation…
Clyde Wilson
August 13, 2019
Review Posts

A Historical and Constitutional Defense of the South

A Review of A Historical and Constitutional Defense of the South (1914) by Captain John Anderson Richardson Captain Richardson was a member of the 19th Georgia, experienced the war and its aftermath, and wrote this work in 1914.  The Sprinkle Publications edition was printed in 2010, and was edited by H. Rondel Rumburg, who also wrote a forward to this…
Brett Moffatt
August 6, 2019
Review Posts

Jeffersonians Against Imperialism

J. William Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power, 1966 and The Price of Empire, 1967 Robert C. Byrd, Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency, 2004 Known and celebrated as a “liberal” during the Vietnam War era, Fulbright was actually a quite independent-minded public figure.  In some respects he represented a remnant of the Southern Democratic Jeffersonian tradition, and he…
Clyde Wilson
July 30, 2019
Review Posts

The Barber of Natchez

Review of The Barber of Natchez (LSU, 1954, 1973) edited by Edwin Adams Davis and William Ransom Hogan. Author's Note: In 1938 a trove of documents dating from 1793 -1937, "over 60 volumes of account books, "nearly 1400" financial and legal documents, bound and unbound volumes of "rare antebellum newspapers" including 2 editions unknown before, "over 400" sheets of 19th century…
Vito Mussomeli
July 23, 2019
Review Posts

Know Dixie, Know America

A review of Conserving America (St. Augustine Press, 2016) by Patrick J. Deneen Man has been created by God in such a way that the larger the object of his love the less directly attached he is to it.  His heart needs particular passions; he needs limited objects for his attraction to keep these firm and enduring … I am…
Jerry Salyer
July 9, 2019
Review Posts

How to Be a Conservative and the Southern Tradition

A review of How To Be a Conservative (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2015), by Sir Roger Scruton. It is highly unusual for any political leader to articulate any sort of learned political philosophy that underscores their beliefs or policy actions in any legislative chamber at the local, state or Federal level.  This, despite the existence of organizations such as the Abbeville Institute,…
Nicole Williams
July 2, 2019
Review Posts

Dabney on Fire

A review of Dabney on Fire: A Theology of Parenting, Education, Feminism, and Government (2019) by Zachary Garris, ed. During his lifetime, Southern theologian and writer Robert Lewis Dabney was most notably known for his 1866 biography of General “Stonewall” Jackson (The Life and Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson) and for his post-war apologia for the Southern cause, A…
Boyd Cathey
June 25, 2019
Review Posts

American Diplomacy Under Tyler and Polk

A review of American Diplomacy under Tyler and Polk (Johns Hopkins, 1907) by Jesse S. Reeves. Both as an interesting chapter in the history of the diplomacy of the United States, and as dealing with an important and but recently exploited period of our national politics, Dr. Jesse S. Reeves’s American Diplomacy under Tyler and Polk is a timely and…
St. George Sioussat
June 18, 2019
Review Posts

The First South

A review of The First South (LSU Press, 1961) by John Richard Alden One of the things I've discovered since I began studying Civil War history is that the roots of that conflict go back to before the United States were declared "free, sovereign and independent", and so a knowledge of the history of the early South is very useful…
Shane Anderson
June 11, 2019
Review Posts

Loosiana Poets

A review of Louisiana Poets: A Literary Guide, (U. Press of Mississippi, 2019) by Catharine Savage Brosman and Olivia McNeely Pass. The poet and the scholar are reportedly different sorts of people. Rarely do you find high performance in both roles combined in one person. Catharine Brosman has done it. The only other example I can think of is the…
Clyde Wilson
June 4, 2019
Review Posts

American Statesman

A Review of American Statesman. Patrick Henry (Houghton Mifflin, 1887) by Moses Coit Tyler Of all the figures of the Revolution, there is perhaps not one which the mists of a century have so enveloped in legend as that of Patrick Henry. A Patrick Henry myth has been formed, and has been fixed in literature by the uncritical character of…
Review Posts

Adventures in the Southwest

A Review of Doniphan’s Expedition, Containing an Account of the Conquest of New Mexico . . .  by John T. Hughes.  Cincinnati, 1847 and Reid’s Tramp, or a Journal of the Incidents of Ten Months Travel Through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Sonora, and California by John Coleman Reid.  Selma, Ala., 1858. The Mexican War and its aftermath turned American attention…
Clyde Wilson
May 21, 2019
Review Posts

George Washington: A Biography

A review of George Washington: A Biography in Seven Volumes (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948-54) by Douglas Southall Freeman This is the definitive George Washington biography and is for the serious reader. The life of Washington is in chronological order. Think of this book as reading, rather than watching, a TV series about Washington. If you decide to commit…
Jeff Wolverton
May 14, 2019
Review Posts

Remembering Mel Bradford

A review of A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements (Missouri, 1999) by Clyde N. Wilson, ed. Clyde Wilson, Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun, has assembled and introduced this collection about a man notable, among other things, for his own affinity with Calhoun and…
J.O. Tate
May 6, 2019
Review Posts

The Real Cause

A review of For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Oxford, 1997) by James McPherson Miss Emma Holmes of Charleston, SC, and a survivor of the War Between the States, has left us one of innumerable diaries from the South about the conflict of 1861-1865 (see The Diary of Miss Emma Holmes, 1861-1866 edited by John…
W. Kirk Wood
April 30, 2019
Review Posts

A Tale of Two Churches

A Review of Sacred Conviction: The South’s Stand for Biblical Authority (Shotwell Publishing, 2018) by Joseph Jay Shotwell Publishing and author Joseph Jay have produced a wonderful short study of the theological divisions that existed between Northern and Southern churches in the antebellum period, and its contribution as a cause of the War Between the States. Many people are familiar…
Garrett Agajanian
April 23, 2019
Review Posts

Recovering Authentic (Politically Incorrect) Conservatism

A review of Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism For Our Times (Routledge, 2017) by Joseph Scotchie Joe Scotchie’s recently published anthology Writing on the Southern Front: Authentic Conservatism For Our Times made me aware of the task that confronts every serious student of the Right—recovering what otherwise might slip down the Memory Hole. Both the American media and,…
Paul Gottfried
April 16, 2019
Review Posts

Yankee Empire

A review of Yankee Empire: Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home (Shotwell Publishing, 2018) by James Ronald and Walter Donald Kennedy The Kennedys have fired a well placed shot across the bow of the Yankee Empire designed to illuminate the history of the past 150 years.  This book is a bonfire in the night, shedding light on some of the…
Brett Moffatt
April 9, 2019
Review Posts

The First Congress

A review of The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government (Simon and Schuster, 2016) by Fergus Bordewich Amateur historians usually write excellent histories. Left unshackled by the latest groupthink of the academy, these historians tend to be independent thinkers and more importantly better writers than their professional counterparts. Shelby Foote…
Brion McClanahan
April 2, 2019
Review Posts

Two From Alabama Ladies

A review of John Gildart: An Heroic Poem. (H. Young & Co., 1901) by M. E. Henry-Ruffin and Plantation Songs: For My Lady’s Banjo, and Other Lyrics and Mono­logues (J.W. Otts, 1901) by “ Eli Shepperd.” The mental emancipation of the South is proved by noth­ing more clearly than by the work of her women. Prior to the war, we…
Thomas Cooper De Leon
March 26, 2019
Review Posts

When Real Historians Understood Calhoun

A review of Correspondence of John C. Calhoun, Vol II. (Washington, 1900) edited by J. Franklin Jameson. It is a fitting crown to Professor Jameson’s efforts in promoting the estab­lishment and successful career of the manuscripts commission and a most substantial proof of the material services rendered to the advancement of the study of history in the United States by…
Edward G. Bourne
March 19, 2019
Review Posts

Many Thousands Gone

A review of Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Harvard, 1998) by Ira Berlin For an understanding of the Atlantic-African slave trades and the origins of the peculiar institution in North America, Prof. Berlin’s Many Thousands Gone is a must read (along with Hugh Thomas’ The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave…
W. Kirk Wood
March 12, 2019
Review Posts

The True Heirs of the Founding Fathers’ Vision

A Review of Beyond Slavery: The Northern Romantic Nationalist Origins of America’s Civil War (Shotwell Publishing, 2019) by Walter Kirk Wood In the post-War between the States mythology supported by the victors, the Antebellum South was Satanic and subject to “slave power,” the alleged immense power of the plantation owners and their demonic desire to perpetuate slavery at all costs.…
Michael Potts
March 5, 2019
Review Posts

Peter Onuf’s Jefferson

A review of Jefferson and the Virginians: Democracy, Constitutions, and Empire (LSU Press, 2018) by Peter Onuf Historian Peter S. Onuf first saw the light as a Connecticut Yankee. Powerful of intellect even in his teens, he met the American Revolution as the subject of serious study in a Johns Hopkins graduate seminar (in which he was the sole undergraduate)…
Kevin R.C. Gutzman
February 26, 2019
Review Posts

Recarving Rushmore

A review of Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty (The Independent Institute, 2014) by Ivan Eland The annual veneration of American monarchy--"Presidents Day"--has passed again. While still officially called "Washington's Birthday" by the general government, the American public has embraced the idea of honoring the executive branch by shopping for furniture, jewelry, or cars. George W.…
Brion McClanahan
February 19, 2019
Review Posts

Historical Consciousness

A Review of Historical Consciousness, or The Remembered Past (Schocken Books, 1985) by John Lukacs In the introduction to the new edition of his Historical Consciousness (first published in 1968), Professor John Lukacs observes of the body of academic historians, circa 1960’s: “They were interested in their profession, without paying much, if any, interest to the nature of their profession.” If…
Clyde Wilson
February 12, 2019
Review Posts

Stealing History

A Review of The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent (Knopf Publishing Company, 1990) by Robert Caro "I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel: 'As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal; Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel; Lo, Greed is marching on.'"…
Charles Goolsby
February 5, 2019
Review Posts

The Devil Hates Mockery

A review of Snowflake Buddies: ABC Leftism for Kids (Shotwell, 2018) by Lewis Liberman It is said that the one thing Satan cannot stand is mockery. The primal sin is pride, and a swollen ego can handle intellectual assaults; what evil cannot handle is someone making fun of it. Contemporary Leftism is an evil system, for it prides itself in…
Michael Potts
January 29, 2019
Review Posts

A Thousand Points of Truth

A review of A Thousand Points of Truth: The History and Humanity of Col. John Singleton Mosby in Newsprint (ExLibris, 2016) by V.P. Hughes Valerie Protopapas (who writes under her maiden name V.P. Hughes) has given us a massive work on Confederate guerilla fighter, Colonel John Singleton Mosby (1833-1916). Her tome, which reaches over eight-hundred pages, is made up of…
Paul Gottfried
January 22, 2019
Review Posts

Catholics’ Lost Cause

A review of Catholics’ Lost Cause: South Carolina Catholics and the American South, 1820-1861 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018) by Adam L. Tate Some thirty odd years ago, scholars began to peer into the world of immigrants in the South with not a little attention devoted to Catholics.  What they found surprised them.  Immigrants in the South adjusted to…
John Devanny
January 15, 2019
Review Posts

False Messiah

A review of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999) by Allen C. Guelzo. Presidential hopeful John McCain recently stated that he was of “the party of Lincoln, not Bob Jones.” This could be taken in ways the gentleman from Arizona never intended. For it was not Bob Jones who said “I am not nor ever have been in…
Samuel C. Smith
January 8, 2019
Review Posts

The Land We Love

A review of The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage (Scuppernong Press, 2018) by Boyd Cathey I must confess that I feel a bit awkward about reviewing Dr. Boyd Cathey’s outstanding anthology, The Land We Love: The South and its Heritage. I am, as the reader may notice, mentioned in the preface, along with Clyde Wilson, as one…
Paul Gottfried
December 18, 2018
Review Posts

Forrest McDonald and the Art of History

A review of Recovering the Past: A Historian's Memoir (University Press of Kansas, 2004) by Forrest McDonald “History is marble, and remains forever cold, even under the most artistic hand, unless life is breathed into it by the imagination. Then the marble becomes flesh and blood—then it feels, it thinks, it moves, and is immortal.” —Charles Gayarré (1805-1895) It is…
Stephen M. Klugewicz
December 11, 2018
Review Posts

The Man Who Made the Supreme Court

A review of John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court (Basic Books, 2018) by Richard Brookhiser John Marshall presents a curious problem for Southern history. How can a man, born and bred in the same State, who breathed the same air and shared the same blood with Thomas Jefferson, have been such an ardent nationalist? The same question…
Brion McClanahan
December 4, 2018
Review Posts

How Europeans Viewed the War

A review of Slavery, Secession, & Civil War: Views from the United Kingdom and Europe, 1856-1865 (Scarecrow Press, 2007) by Charles Adams. At long last Charles Adams’s new book, Slavery, Secession, & Civil War: Views from the United Kingdom and Europe, 1856-1865, has been published. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this book for about five years. The book contains about…
Thomas DiLorenzo
November 27, 2018
Review Posts

A Black Sugar Planter in the Old South

A review of Andrew Durnford, A Black Sugar Planter in the Antebellum South by David O. Whitten, (Transaction Publishers, 1995). I In the year 1800 the Viceroyalty of New Spain was still intact, and Louisiana still part of the Spanish Empire. So, too, was Mexico, Texas, all the Southwest of today's America, north to Kansas and clear to the West Coast…
Vito Mussomeli
November 20, 2018
Review Posts

A Visit to Clay Bank County

A review of four novels by Dr. James Everett Kibler, Jr: Walking Toward Home (Pelican Publishing, 2004), Memory’s Keep (Pelican Publishing, 2006), The Education of Chauncey Doolittle (Pelican Publishing, 2008), and Tiller (Shotwell Publishing, 2016). At the heart of every good work of fiction are characters that are believable and a real or imagined setting that allows readers to inhabit,…
Robin Spencer Lattimore
November 13, 2018
Review Posts

An Arch Rebel Like Myself

A review of “An Arch Rebel Like Myself;” Dan Showalter and the Civil War in California and Texas, by by Gene Armistead and Robert D. Arconti (North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2018). Discussion of the War for Southern Independence often includes facts about who were the last to lay down their arms.  It is commonly argued that Gen. Stand Waite’s…
Daniel Peters
November 6, 2018
Review Posts

From Founding Fathers to Fire Eaters

A review of From Founding Fathers to Fire-Eaters: The Constitutional Doctrine of States’ Rights in the Old South (Columbia, SC: Shotwell Publishing, 2018) by James Rutledge Roesch. Mr. James Rutledge Roesch is doing God’s work with the publication of his book, From Founding Fathers to Fire-Eaters: The Constitutional Doctrine of States’ Rights in the Old South.  Riding to the sound…
John Devanny
October 30, 2018
Review Posts

Lincoln As He Really Was

A review of Lincoln: As He Really Was by Charles T. Pace (Shotwell Publishing, 2018). Abraham Lincoln was American’s Robespierre, but his crimes only reflected the character flaws he had while in office. Dr. Charles T. Pace, a medical doctor from Greenville, North Carolina, has written a masterful political biography of Lincoln. He portrays Lincoln as a “politician’s politician, a…
Michael Potts
October 23, 2018
Review Posts

Taking Root

A review of Taking Root: The Nature Writing of William and Adam Summer of Pomaria by James Kibler (editor) and Wendell Berry (Foreword) (University of South Carolina Press, 2017). Perhaps land is more important to the Southern tradition than any other aspect of the region’s experience. Historians continue to grapple with questions that ask how Southerners understood land and nature.…
Alan Harrelson
October 16, 2018
Review Posts

In Defense of Andrew Jackson

A review of In Defense of Andrew Jackson by Brad Birzer (Regnery History, 2018). Andrew Jackson, who Davy Crockett famously mocked as “the great man in the white house,” occupies an entire epoch in American history. In almost every conceivable way, he was a classic paradox – a benevolent crusader to his friends, and a despotic tyrant to his enemies.…
Dave Benner
October 9, 2018
Review Posts

The Real Ty Cobb

A Review of Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen, (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Baseball fans familiar with major league records remember Ty Cobb for his .366 lifetime batting average during the dead-ball era. Some may even remember that he held more than 90 baseball records. During his career, Cobb was the idol of millions of fans and received…
Norman Black
October 2, 2018
Review Posts

Republicans Knew Where Their Brot Was Buttered In 1860

A Review of The Election of 1860: “A Campaign Fraught with Consequences” by Michael F. Holt (University Press of Kansas, 2017). Chapter One of Michael F. Holt’s contribution to the corpulent body of work covering the election of 1860 is called “Republican Storm Rising” and it was political perfect storm that blew Abraham Lincoln into the White House. One of,…
Joe Wolverton
September 25, 2018
Review Posts

The Legacy of Anti-Federalism

A review of The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828 by Saul Cornell (University of North Carolina Press, 1999). The Anti-Federalists who opposed ratification of the Constitution have not fared well among American historians and political , scientists. Nothing reveals more starkly the near-complete disinterest in Anti-Federalist thought than a bibliographical check of books and essays on…
James McClellan
September 18, 2018
Review Posts

My Own Darling Wife

A review of My Own Darling Wife: Letters from a Confederate Volunteer by Andrew P. Calhoun (Shotwell Publishing, 2018). This is not just a book of family letters from the War Between the States. You will learn more about the typical Confederate soldier in these 208 pages than in most books. The author of these letters is John Francis Calhoun,…
John C. Whatley
September 11, 2018
Review Posts

The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson

A review of The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson by David N. Mayer (University of Virginia Press, 1994). Thomas Jefferson’s reputation is that of a great thinker. He is popularly (and I believe wrongly, but that is a different matter) believed to have been the greatest thinker among American’s Revolutionaries. It is as a writer and as an unofficial pontifex…
Kevin R.C. Gutzman
September 4, 2018
Review Posts

Union At All Costs

A Review of Union At All Costs: From Confederation to Consolidation by John M. Taylor (Booklocker, 2016). Most of the time, finding historical gems requires a lot of work and often long hours of arduous research. On rare occasions, they just fall into your lap. It is even more unusual for someone to simply drop one onto your plate. However,…
Samuel W. Mitcham
August 28, 2018
Review Posts

A Society With Slaves

A review Slave and Free on Virginia’s Eastern Shore by Kirk Mariner (Onancok, VA: Miona Publications, 2014). The book can be purchased by emailing Miona Publications. One of the ironies that plague the proponents of the “South is about slavery and slavery is about the South” school of history is the lack of knowledge we possess regarding the everyday lives and social…
John Devanny
August 21, 2018
Review Posts

What Are People For?

A review of What Are People For? by Wendell Berry (North Point Press, 1990) "We should love life," Dostoyevski once said, "more than the idea of life." It is this concreteness, this rootedness, that seemingly inspirits the life and writings of Wendell Berry, whose most recent collection of essays, What Are People For?, further establishes him as one of the…
Tom Rash
August 14, 2018
Review Posts

The Power of Memory: How to Remember America’s Most Traumatic Crisis

A review of  Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory by David Blight (Harvard University Press, 2001). In Race and Reunion, historian David Blight recounts the first fifty years after the Civil War in order to describe how Americans of all backgrounds remembered the experiences and lessons of the conflict.  He contends that three distinct visions of Civil War memory…
Josh Phillips
August 7, 2018
Review Posts

The Saints Are Marching On, and On, and On…

A review of Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North by Jennifer L. Weber (Oxford University Press, 2007). They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case it is worth much more: 217 pages of them. The text comes wrapped in a handsome dust jacket, colored black and gold and featuring an arresting…
H. A. Scott Trask
July 31, 2018
Review Posts

Confederates in Mexico

A review of Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico by Mary Margaret McAllen (Trinity University Press, 2014). Leaving forever the land of your fathers is painful, yet many Southerners turned further south, contemplating that choice on the eve of their destruction by the North. With most of their wealth bound to the land, what resource could they find…
Terry Hulsey
July 24, 2018
Review Posts

Wall Street Journal’s Confederate Animus

A review of Vicksburg: The Bloody Siege that Turned the Tide of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. (Regnery History, 2018). On the eve of the War for Southern Independence an article was published in The New York Times which unequivocally announced why the North had to invade and conquer the South.  The author of the article declared, “The…
Review Posts

America Aflame

A review of America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation, by David Goldfield (Bloomsbury Press, 2011). Whether or not the American Civil War might have been avoided has long been a subject of debate among historians. Some, like Allan Nevins and Charles and Mary Beard, saw the war as “an irrepressible conflict,” in the words of Abraham Lincoln’s…
Review Posts

The Confederate Cherokee

A review of The Confederate Cherokees: John Drew's Regiment of Mounted Rifles by W. Craig Gaines (LSU Press, 2017). When most people think of Confederate Cherokees, the name Stand Watie immediately comes to mind. This book is not about Stand Watie’s troops but about John Drew’s Regiment of Mounted Rifles. It is also not so much about Confederate Cherokees as…
John C. Whatley
July 3, 2018
Review Posts

The Art of the Old South

A review of The Art of the Old South: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture & the Products of Craftsmen (1560-1860) by Jessie Poesch (Harrison Press, 1989). The Art of the Old South encompasses architecture, painting, sculpture, and the products of craftsmen. We are given a tour of a great variety of private and public buildings-from the formal mansions and elegant townhouses that followed…
Jeff Wolverton
June 26, 2018
Review Posts

Rock and Roll Civil War

When you think of America’s so-called “Civil War”, rock music may not be one of the first things that come to mind. However, as one of the most deadly wars in American history, with Missouri being the 3rd bloodiest of all the states (in terms of war-related deaths and human rights atrocities), the War Between the States continues to resonate…
Matthew Silber
June 19, 2018
Review Posts

Is Secession Treason?

A review of With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era by William A. Blair (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) and Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis by Cynthia Nicoletti (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Was the act of secession in 1860-61 treason? This is one of the more important and lasting questions…
Brion McClanahan
June 12, 2018
Review Posts

War Crimes Against Southern Civilians

Originally published at amazon.com, 30 September 2009. A Review of War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco (Pelican, 2007). Walter Brian Cisco is lifelong scholar of American Civil War history, a professional writer, and researcher with many respected publications on the subject including States Rights Gist: A South Carolina General of the Civil War, Taking a Stand: Portraits from…
Stephen Hendrick
June 5, 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
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
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
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…
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
Review Posts

Knights of the Golden Circle

A review of Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War by David C. Keehn (LSU, 2013). “Maybe,” “Likely,” “It seems that.” Those are hardly the words of an author certain of the truth of his thesis, but these are indeed the words David C. Keehn uses in his book, Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire,…
Joe Wolverton
April 24, 2018
Review Posts

Zombies No More: Secession, Nullification, and the Academy

A review of Nullification and Secession in Modern Constitutional Thought. Sanford Levinson, ed. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2016. The undead walk among us still, or so asserts Sanford Levinson, the editor of an important collection of essays on nullification and secession.  Levinson and company are as mainstream a group political scientists, law professors, and historians as one might…
John Devanny
April 17, 2018
Review Posts

The Unknown Confederate West

A review of The Civil War in the American West by Alvin M. Josephy (Vintage, 1993). As the “history” books to which government school students are subjected begin to deal with the War of Northern Aggression, they tend to make little mention of those states and territories west of the Mississippi, with the exception of Missouri and Kansas. Missouri, so…
Al Benson
April 10, 2018
Review Posts

I’ll Take My Stand

A review of I'll Take My Stand by Twelve Southerners (LSU, 2006). In this age where the homogenization of our culture is nearly complete, thanks largely to widespread media and rampant industrialism, I'll Take My Stand remains as fresh and relevant as the day it was published more than seventy years ago. Instead of indulging in reactionary daydreams or nostalgia,…
Randall Ivey
April 3, 2018
Review Posts

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

A review of Regionalism and Nationalism in the United States: The Attack on Leviathan by Donald Davidson (Transaction Books, 1991). August 18, 1993 will mark the centennial of Donald Davidson’s birth. On April 25 of that year, he will have been dead a quarter of a century. During his lifetime Davidson was considered the most minor of the major Fugitives,…
Mark Royden Winchell
March 27, 2018
Review Posts

Southern Horizons

A review of Southern Horizons: The Autobiography of Thomas Dixon (IWV Publishing, 1994). The name of Thomas Dixon today is little remembered, North or South, but seventy years ago Dixon was one of the most prominent and controversial public figures in the country. The discovery and publication of his autobiography ought to be considered a significant event in the cultural…
Stephen P. Smith
March 20, 2018
Review Posts

Two Against Lincoln

A review of Two Against Lincoln: Reverdy Johnson and Horatio Seymour, Champions of the Loyal Opposition (University Press of Kansas, 2017) by William C. Harris In a speech before the Senate in 1863, James A. Bayard of Delaware stated that “The truth will out, ultimately…though they may be voted down by the majority of the hour, though they may not…
Brion McClanahan
March 13, 2018
Review Posts

Founding Intentions

A review of Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution by M.E. Bradford (Georgia, 1993). Since the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, numberless books re-examining the document and the convention that made it have issued forth from commercial publishing houses and university presses. While some of them are excellent and make important contributions in the…
W. Kirk Wood
March 6, 2018
Review Posts

Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States

A review of Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States (Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014) by Gene Kizer, Jr. In all my growing up years I was taught that the War Between the States was fought over slavery. That's what the "history" books, so called, told us and it is certainly what the "news media" has screamed…
Al Benson
February 27, 2018
Review Posts

Souls of Lions

A review of R. E. Mitchell. Souls of Lions (Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse LLC, 2014). Very seldom do I review novels, even historical ones. But R. E. Mitchell’s volume, Souls of Lions, after just a few pages, captured my attention and kept me glued to my couch seat for several days until I had finished it…and with its surprising and fascinating…
Boyd Cathey
February 20, 2018
Review Posts

“‘Finished in Beauty’ and in Memories”: Catharine Savage Brosman’s Book of Hours

A review-essay on A Memory of Manaus: Poems by Catharine Savage Brosman. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2017. A Memory of Manaus, Catharine Brosman’s eleventh full-length collection of poetry, confirms her rightful place in the front rank of contemporary American poets. Working skillfully in both traditional forms and in tightly controlled free verse, Brosman is among that very small number…
David Middleton
February 13, 2018
Review Posts

Remember Mississippi

A review of Remember Mississippi: How Chris McDaniel Exposed the GOP Establishment and Inspired a Revolution (WND, 2017) by Ryan S. Walters. Ryan S. Walters, who is book review editor for Abbeville Institute and editor of Mississippi Conservative Daily, has produced a highly readable biography of his close friend, Chris McDaniel. For those who may not remember, McDaniel is the…
Paul Gottfried
February 6, 2018
Review Posts

On the Brink of War

A review of Shearer Davis Bowman, At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis, (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). Shearer Davis Bowman presents a comprehensive view of the events leading to the secession of the southern states. Bowman (p. 12) explores “what Americans on the eve of the Civil War believe about themselves and the world…
Jonathan White
January 30, 2018
Review Posts

Confederaphobes

A review of Confederaphobia: An American Epidemic by Paul C. Graham (Shotwell Publishing, 2017). In a brilliant new book on one of the most important topics of our time, Paul C. Graham, the co-founder of Shotwell Publishing, tackles the recent nationwide effort to eradicate every vestige of the Confederacy from our public life. It’s a new psychological condition that he…
Ryan Walters
January 23, 2018
Review Posts

Government by Judiciary

A review of Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment by Raoul Berger (Second Edition; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1997). Also available online. Raoul Berger was a legal historian who did not fear challenging academic consensus. His 1977 contrarian work Government by Judiciary argued that the Supreme Court radically departed from the original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, citing…
Zachary Garris
January 9, 2018
Review Posts

Foundering Inventions

A review of Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution by Harry Jafffa, (Regnery, 1994). When Professor Harry Jaffa, in his new book Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: A Disputed Question, refers to Abraham Lincoln as the “greatest interpreter of the Founding Fathers,” one must wonder whose Founding Fathers he has in mind. From the outset…
William J. Watkins
December 19, 2017
Review Posts

The World They Made Together

A review of The World They Made Together, Black and White Values in Eighteenth Century Virginia, by Mechal Sobel, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1987 I In America, in 1607 the first successful British settlement began in a land they called Virginia. Within a few decades another people began arriving, taken from their homes in Africa. Both peoples arrived…
Vito Mussomeli
December 12, 2017
Review Posts

Gettysburg Rebels

A review of Gettysburg Rebels: Five Native Sons Who Came Home To Fight As Confederate Soldiers, by Tom McMillan, Regnery, 2017. In 1912, the renowned publisher of books on The War for Sothern Independence, Neale Publishing Company of New York, released Fighting by Southern Federals, written by Charles C. Anderson. He argued that more than 600,000 Southerners fought for the…
Bill Potter
December 5, 2017
Review Posts

Pickett’s Charge — The Last Attack at Gettysburg

A review of Pickett’s Charge – The Last Attack at Gettysburg by Earl J. Hess (UNC Press, 2001). When I was still on active duty with the U.S. Army, the true “Gettysburg” book was Professor Coddington’s The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command (1968). But his book was about the entire battle and command and not the attack. Hess mentions several others,…
John C. Whatley
November 28, 2017
Review Posts

James Madison: Son of Virginia

A Review  James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation by Jeff Broadwater (University of North Carolina Press, 2012). Speaking at the celebration of the completion of the restoration of Montpelier, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Montpelier restored is certainly beautiful but is in no sense the most fitting memorial to James Madison. If you’re looking…
Joe Wolverton
November 14, 2017
Review Posts

Southern Tales of Glory and Woe

A review of A New England Romance: And Other Southern Stories by Randall Ivey (Shotwell Press, 2016). Randall Ivey’s book of Southern stories will make you laugh, cry and nod your head in recognition of delightful characters you feel you have known forever, or at least most of your life. This is especially true if you are lucky enough to…
Patricia Woods
November 7, 2017
Review Posts

Lincoln vs. Davis

A review of Brian R. Dirck, Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865 (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2001). Mr. Dirck’s comparative analysis of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis promises much.  Friendly reviewers have found his work “intellectual history at its most stimulating,” or “psychologically sophisticated.”  Alas, I confess that I do not see it.  To be fair to Mr.…
John Devanny
October 31, 2017
Review Posts

Shredding the Constitution to Save the Union

A review of Liberty & Union: The Civil War Era and American Constitutionalism by Timothy S. Huebner (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2016). Timothy S. Huebner’s new synthetic account of the Civil War and Reconstruction melds military history, political history, constitutional history, and black history in telling the tale of the most popular subject in American history. Published by one…
Kevin R.C. Gutzman
October 24, 2017
Review Posts

“A Real Personage-And Not an Odd Name Merely…”

A Review of States Rights Gist: A South Carolina General of the Civil War, by Walter Brian Cisco, Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Publishing, 1991. “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”-Psalm 90:12 (KJV) Of all types of literature, I enjoy reading biographies.  As a man, I profit from biographies of men whose…
Barry Kay
October 17, 2017
Review Posts

A Legion of Devils

A review of Karen Stokes, A Legion of Devils: Sherman in South Carolina (Shotwell Press, 2017). Many of us have read about the horrendous things William Tecumseh Sherman did as he and his "bummers" marched through Georgia, things a lot of us would rather not have read about. However, if we are to properly understand our history we are often compelled…
Al Benson
October 10, 2017
Review Posts

Braxton Bragg

A review of Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy by Earl J. Hess, University of North Carolina Press, 2016. In Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy, prolific Civil War historian Earl J. Hess attempts the near impossible task of resurrecting the reputation of one of the Civil War’s most disparaged generals. Many contemporaries and…
Jason Stewart
October 3, 2017
Review Posts

Southern Reconstruction

A review of Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh (Westholme, 2017). Confronting the establishment narrative about any historical topic can be a perilous endeavor. There are several that present such large minefields that most historians dare not attempt to cross, among them the “Civil War,” Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights movement. Bucking the accepted version of events in any of those…
Brion McClanahan
September 26, 2017
Review Posts

How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America

A review of How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America by Brion McClanahan, Regnery History, 2017. A thinking American must choose between Hamilton and Jefferson, whose contrary visions of the future were contested in the first days of the Constitution. If you are happy with big government, big banks, big business, big military, and judicial dictatorship, then you have Alexander Hamilton…
Clyde Wilson
September 19, 2017
Review Posts

That Old Black Magic

A review of Fred Chappell, Familiars, LSU Press, 2014. The cat, the felis silverstrus catus, both wild and domesticated, has exercised a considerable fascination for the creative artist throughout the thousands of years of Western and non-Western civilization.  One need only peruse art and history books containing sculptures of the animal originating in Byzantium and Egypt, among other ancient locales,…
Randall Ivey
September 12, 2017
Review Posts

The Brave Samaritan

  A Review of The Angel of Marye’s Heights, by Les Carroll, Columbia, SC: Palmetto Bookworks, 1994. The famed G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”  No quote better sums up the actions of one brave Confederate soldier on the field…
Barry Kay
September 5, 2017
Review Posts

Reconsidering Luther Martin

A review of Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet, The Life of Luther Martin, by Bill Kauffman, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2008 "Happiness is preferable to the Splendour of a national Government"  Luther Martin to the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787, Kauffman at 41 This book takes no prisoners. Nor does it gloss the favored actors. It sides with Martin's stance at the…
Vito Mussomeli
August 29, 2017
Review Posts

Nullification

A review of Nullification: Reclaiming the Consent of the Governed by Clyde Wilson, Shotwell Press, 2016. As a young conservative, I came across ideas like nullification and states’ rights, during my studies. But they were always passed over, as if they didn’t mean anything anymore. When I read Robert Bork’s excellent book on Originalism, I never saw his unquestioned and…
Christopher McDonald
August 22, 2017
Review Posts

A Series of “What Ifs”

Review of Cry Havoc! The Crooked Road to Civil War, 1861 by Nelson D. Lankford. (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2008): 308 pages. Few people, whether northerners or Southerners know the details and decision making processes that led to Abraham Lincoln’s attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter and thus the Confederate decision to fire on the fort to prevent that aggression.…
Jason Korbel
August 15, 2017
Review Posts

William Lowndes Yancey

A review of William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War. by Eric H. Walther. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2006. William Lowndes Yancey was described as the Patrick Henry of the Confederacy.  Eric Walther’s biography of follows the evolution of a staunch unionist to the orator of secession.  Yancey was the son of a Navy war hero.  The…
Jonathan White
August 8, 2017
Review Posts

The Yankee Problem in American History

A review of Clyde Wilson, The Yankee Problem: An American Dilemma (Shotwell Press, 2016). The Yankee Problem An American Dilemma by Clyde Wilson consists of 12 sections, four of which involve book reviews (half of them devoted to biographies of the Beecher family or the family of John Adams), four of which directly address the devilish nature of that New…
Charles Steiner
August 1, 2017
Review Posts

Go Figure: Progressive Academics Misinterpret Southern Identity

A Review of The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People, by Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2017. Reviewed by Michael Potts. Progressive ideology dominates academia, and political science is no exception. Professors Cooper and Knotts, political scientists from Western Carolina University…
Michael Potts
July 25, 2017
Review Posts

Preserving the Good

A Review of Catharine Savage Brosman, Southwestern Women Writers and the Vision of Goodness, McFarland Press, 2016. The term “man of letters” has fallen largely into desuetude over the last few decades, and for good reason. Very few such entities exist nowadays on the literary landscape either in this country or elsewhere. One is more apt to come across a…
Randall Ivey
July 18, 2017
Review Posts

Bust Hell Wide Open

A review of Bust Hell Wide Open: the Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., Regnery History, 2016. Writing a biography about Nathan Bedford Forrest – a man recognized by no less than General Robert E. Lee and General William T. Sherman as “the most remarkable man produced by the Civil War on either side” – is…
Review Posts

John Crowe Ransom’s Last Stand

“The modern man has lost his sense of vocation.” “A Statement of Principles,” I’ll Take My Stand “One wonders what the authors of our Constitution would have thought of that category, ‘permanently unemployable.’”  –Wendell Berry A Review of Land!: The Case For an Agrarian Economy by John Crowe Ransom, Edited by Jason Peters, Introduction by Jay T. Collier University of…
Alan Cornett
July 4, 2017
Review Posts

A Breach in the Wall

A Review of: Look Homeward by David Herbert Donald, Little, Brown, 1987. When David Herbert Donald recalls his youthful reaction to Look Homeward, Angel, he describes a magic that many of us felt upon encountering Thomas Wolfe as adolescents: "I was convinced-without any just cause-that I too was misunderstood by my family and unappreciated in my community, and, like Eugene,…
Loxley Nichols
June 27, 2017
Review Posts

Understanding Andrew Lytle

A Review of The Southern Vision of Andrew Lytle, by Mark Lucas, Louisiana State University Press, 1987. Andrew Lytle's writings comprise a rich and diverse tapestry whose outlines are difficult to bring together. The critic who tackles this varying body of material must become conversant in history, political philosophy, military biography, and literary criticism. Lytle has been feted for achievements…
Benjamin Alexander
June 20, 2017
Review Posts

Poor but Proud

A review of J. Wayne Flynt, Dixie's Forgotten People: The South's Poor Whites. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1979. Professor Flynt, the author of this volume, concentrates on the economic condition and the cultural life of poor white South­erners, but does not fail to mention some of the vices of the American majority, especially the attempt, often unsuccessful, to…
Michael Jordan
June 13, 2017
Review Posts

Music from the Lake

A review of Music from the Lake and Other Essays by Catharine Savage Brosman (Chronicles Press, 2017). Catharine Savage Brosman is a treasure of Southern literature.  Although much of her work shows her solid Colorado Rocky Mountain upbringing, somehow I do not think she will mind being placed in Southern literature.  Most of her career was spent in New Orleans…
Clyde Wilson
June 7, 2017
Review Posts

Hank Williams and the Elusive Redneck

A review of George William Koon, Hank Williams: A Bio-Bibliography, Greenwood Press, 1983. Like it or not, the most lasting symbol of the South is the Redneck. My eight-year-old son thinks General Lee is a car; many of my students don't know in what century the War Between the States was fought, although they are quick to tell me that…
Warren Leamon
May 30, 2017
Review Posts

A Better Guide Than Reason

A Review of M.E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution. 1979. The world's largest, most ancient, and most exemplary republic observed its bicentennial not long ago. One would expect such an occasion to be a time of rededication and renewal, of restoration and recovery. Instead, we had a value-free official celebration that was expensive, dull,…
Clyde Wilson
May 17, 2017
Review Posts

Bledsoe on St. Elmo

Editor's note: This was originally published in Bledsoe's Southern Review in 1867 and is presented here in honor of Augusta J. Evans's birthday, May 8. St. Elmo. A Novel. By Augusta J. Evans. Carleton, New York. 1867. In the conscientious discharge of our duty as reviewers, we have read this novel from beginning to end, and as attentively as human…
Review Posts

Understanding Faulkner

A Review of: On the Prejudices, Predilections, and Firm Beliefs of William Faulkner. By Cleanth Brooks. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1987. 162 pp. When I think of the state of literary criticism in the academy today, I think of a New Yorker cartoon someone has put up in the liberal arts coffee lounge at Clemson. It shows…
Review Posts

The Imperial Penman

A Review of The Imperial Presidency, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. 504 pages. The title gives us a fleeting but instructive glimpse at the curious rhetorical operations which flourish in this as in Mr. Schlesinger's other writings. "Imperial" from the pen of a historian and linked with "Presidency." disposes the reader to expect a carefully…
Clyde Wilson
April 26, 2017
Review Posts

Reflections of a Ghost

Of the twelve agrarians who wrote the, symposium I'll Take My Stand, only three are alive: Robert Penn Warren, the poet and novelist, Lyle Lanier, a psychologist and former executive vice-president of the University of Illinois, and myself, a writer and reader of fiction. I don't presume to speak either for Warren or Lanier, and I don't know how to…
Andrew Nelson Lytle
April 20, 2017
Review Posts

Tolerating the South’s Past

The Age of Enlightenment represented the Middle Ages as a Gothic night—an interlude of ignorance and superstition when men were enveloped in a cowl, oblivious to the wonders of knowledge, and concerned only with escape from the miseries of this world and of hell. Voltaire said that Dante was considered a great poet because no one read him, that a…
Review Posts

A Question of Sovereignty

Although the nation recently recognized the 150th anniversary of the end of the War of Northern Aggression, we are still plagued with questions about the legality of secession, issues and inquiries that unfortunately may never end. In exchanges on social media over the years, I have argued our principles as passionately as anyone can, while kindly, but at times very…
Ryan Walters
April 4, 2017
Review Posts

Maryland’s Confederate Sisterhood

“If you, who represent the stronger portion, cannot agree to settle on the broad principle of justice and duty, say so; and let the States we both represent agree to separate and part in peace.  If you are unwilling we should part in peace, tell us so, and we shall know what to do, when you reduce the question to…
J.L. Bennett
March 28, 2017
Review Posts

The Shining Spirits

Why the South Will Survive, by Fifteen Southerners. Edited by Clyde N. Wilson. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1981. As a naturalized Southerner (born in the North but educated in the South) it is a delight to discover this hard intellectual diamond among the soft dunghills of contemporary American publishing. The fifteen separate essays contained in this work deserve…
Jeffrey St. John
March 21, 2017
Review Posts

A Deep Devotion to the Constitution

According to the modern historical establishment, John C. Calhoun is the ultimate American villain. These esteemed historians think lofty assessments from previous decades failed to account for his glaring inconsistencies in regard to federal power, his advocacy for American imperialism, or his well-known defense of slavery and racism. Historians may have been critical of Calhoun's advancement of the "positive good"…
Brion McClanahan
March 14, 2017
Review Posts

God, Gallup, and the Episcopalians

The rejection of the old Prayer Book was something like the demolition of a historic building. For over four centuries it has been regarded as a monument of great prose. It has influenced the English language with memorable images and phrasing. Only the King James trans­lation of the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare have affected our language so…
Cleanth Brooks
March 7, 2017
Review Posts

A Pilgrim’s Progress: Nathaniel Hawthorne Reconsidered

At first glance, Nathaniel Hawthorne seems the quintessential Yankee, one not at all likely to be claimed or adopted by Southerners. His great, great, great grandfather, William Hathorne, came to America with John Winthrop's company in 1630. William and his son John were Puritans; they are conspicuous in history books as great persecutors of Quakers and witches. The second Hathorne…
Michael Jordan
March 1, 2017
Review Posts

The American President: From Cincinnatus to Caesar

The great body of the nation has no real interest in party. — James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat, 1838 The American presidency offers many fascinating questions for historical exploration. And by historical exploration I do not mean the all-too-common form of pseudohistory that puts the presidential office at the center of our expe­rience as a people. That scenario in…
Clyde Wilson
February 23, 2017
Review Posts

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…
Ludwell H. Johnson
February 13, 2017
Review Posts

Listening in Autumn: “Thin Time” in North Louisiana

Two Poems by Robert Peters and David Middleton Who Will Hear? From distant ridge to distant ridge hunting horns serenading with stories before great fires; Bobbing over hill and into hollow the fox hounds’ course voices; The pitch of the pack rising with the tiring of the stag; Watery break singing with a million mosquitoes; Chip marrying the widow with…
Abbeville Institute
February 7, 2017
Review Posts

The Small Nation Manifesto

A small-state world would not only solve the problems of social brutality and war; it would solve the problems of oppression and tyranny. It would solve all problems arising from power. Leopold Kohr Breakdown of Nations We the small nations and aspiring small nations of the world find it increasingly difficult to escape the clutches of the largest, wealthiest, most…
Thomas Naylor
February 1, 2017
Review Posts

Octavia Walton Le Vert

Fredrika Bremer calls the subject of this sketch her "sweet Rose of Florida." She certainly is a "Rose that all are praising." It would require the scope of a full biography to change this rose into a bud, and then, petal by petal, to unfold the bud again to the rose; after all, we might not find the dew-drop at…
Julia Deane Freeman
January 27, 2017
Review Posts

Forgotten Heroines of the Confederacy

Millions know Scarlett O'Hara's fictional story. Yet few among even the staunchest Southerners know the true stories of Confederate heroines like Molly Tynes, Lola Sanchez, Lottie and Ginnie Moon, Erneline Pigott, Robbie Woodruff, Antonia Ford, Nancy Hart and Alice Thompson. Some of these women en¬joyed a measure of local recognition, but others had to cloak their deeds in secrecy for…
Anne Funderburg
January 24, 2017
Review Posts

Stonewall: By Name and Nature

Stonewall lay dying of his wounds at Chancellorsville — "the most successful movement of my life," he murmured, and then remembered to give full credit to God. "I feel His hand led me." He had smashed Fighting Joe Hooker and 134,000 invaders of Virginia with 60,000 Confederates. Jackson didn't mention General Robert E. Lee who was with the reserves that…
Holmes Alexander
January 17, 2017
Review Posts

Old Western Man: C.S. Lewis and the Old South

I write not as an expert to tell you of my thought but to explain a particular concept of Lewis's and my own application of it to the Old South. Almost everyone knows something about C.S. Lewis as a writer of extremely readable children's books (about the land of Narnia that can be entered through the back of an old…
Sheldon Vanauken
January 10, 2017
Review Posts

J. Evetts Haley and the Mind of the South

American historians often write of a contrast between the South, a closed reactionary society, and the West, free and open and characteristically American. The dichotomy thus presented is a false one. The West is the South. That is, to the extent that the West is a theatre for heroic action, rather than just a place to start a new business,…
Guy Story Brown
January 3, 2017
Review Posts

The Conversation Club of Charleston

This essay was presented at the 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School.   When I was young I used to read a lot of books about archaeology—the study of ancient lost worlds and civilizations. I never got to study archaeology, but I became an archivist, and I suppose my job is a little like field archaeology—except that I work indoors, in air-conditioned…
Karen Stokes
December 21, 2016
Review Posts

Kaitlin of Christmas

The true story of a girl’s human love embracing the Christ-calling in each of us You arrived the first evening of Spring And never left, not once - You cooked and loved and overflowed With cookies and pizza and gingerbread The Seasons of every year We sometimes didn't know you and Sometimes wondered where you were even Though standing side…
Vito Mussomeli
December 19, 2016
Review Posts

Death of Kin

“Family’s getting scarce,” Cousin Jeanette says As Uncle Wallace, her daddy, lies In hospital bed in Union Lashed with tubes that keep him fed. Wallace has outlived all siblings save one, Uncle Autry, “Aut,” father of two sons And one daughter; he fascinated us Younguns with missing thumb. Before them we’ve lost Uncles Russell, Doug, And Hub and Aint Bertie.…
Randall Ivey
December 13, 2016
Review Posts

A Miscarriage of Justice

"Passion governs, and she never governs wisely,” wrote Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway in 1775. Wise words from the wisest of America’s Founders, yet ninety years later the very government that Franklin helped create disregarded his wisdom, fell prey to those very passions, and trampled the constitutional rights of its own citizens in order to help quench what seemed an…
Ryan Walters
December 5, 2016
Review Posts

Up at the Forks of the Creek: In Search of American Populism

Editor's note: With the rise of "populism" around the world, we should revisit the history and origins of American populism. In "Populism" we are confronted with a term that raises so many different connotations in different minds that we well may wonder if the term is usable at all. It is not quite as bad, in this respect, as democracy—a…
Clyde Wilson
November 16, 2016
Review Posts

The Legacy of Francis Butler Simkins

A biographer defined Francis Butler Simkins as "one of the most interesting intellectual forces of his generation." As a scholar who questioned conventional thinking he "helped lay the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, when these momentous events of the 1950s and 1960s challenged the traditional order in the American South, Simkins discovered much...that he believed should be conserved…
Grady McWhiney
November 8, 2016
Review Posts

A Plinth of Night

Every night he watched them, this strange trio, the two men and the woman (that is what it looked like, a woman, that is what it appeared to be in the darkness), make their way by foot along the side of the highway and go over the railroad tracks and disappear to goodness knew where.  Then, maybe an hour or…
Randall Ivey
October 31, 2016
Review Posts

Monument Avenue: A Debate

O let his stone frown roll Applaud the silvery horse’s scuttle Forget where granite hooves dwell- It’s decreed, friends, ancient sorrows shan’t tell! Forget a fallen slandered father? What scary idle sings the dead man our children? Besiege the bewhiskered one blushing for us- Our grim story-teller too not like us? It’s amnesiacs down the obedient horsemen As memories into…
Mark Mantel
October 25, 2016
Review Posts

Jeffersonian Conservatism

What is true conservatism?  That question, more than anything else, is the argument raging in the Republican Party today – one side fully represented in the party’s establishment wing, while the other resides in the hearts of true patriots at the grassroots, those who carry the American Revolution’s sacred fire of liberty. Yet most true conservatives may not realize that…
Ryan Walters
October 18, 2016
Review Posts

A Farewell Performance of “The Twins”

Omitting minor points of difference, it may be said that “the difference between the old Democrat and Whig parties” was the same as that which separated the schools of Jefferson and Hamilton. The old Democratic party stood for Free Trade, for equal and exact justice to all without Special Privileges to any, for a strict construction of the Constitution, for…
Thomas E. Watson
October 11, 2016
Review Posts

Two Aristocracies

Editor's note: This piece was originally printed as an unsigned piece in DeBow's Review in 1866. The author had already recognized that the deal struck between Midwestern farmers and Northeastern merchants would in short order ruin agriculture and by default a more Jeffersonian economy in the "farm belt" of America. His call for Southern and Midwestern farmers to unite against…
Abbeville Institute
October 5, 2016
Review Posts

The Stupid Empire

Reprinted from brionmcclanahan.com As the first leg of the American invasion force rolled through Iraq in 2003, Sergeant Brad Colbert of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps leaned out the window of his Humvee and urged the Iraqi people to “vote Republican.” This moment was captured by the embedded reporter, Evan Wright, and made famous in…
Brion McClanahan
September 27, 2016
Review Posts

John C. Calhoun: Anti-Imperialist

The mission of the Abbeville Institute, to redeem what is worthwhile in the Southern tradition, is an embattled one. The dominant powers in American discourse today have succeeded in confining the South to a dark little corner of story labeled “Slavery and Treason.” This is already governing the public sphere of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Such an approach not only…
Clyde Wilson
September 22, 2016
Review Posts

James Jackson of Georgia: Unknown Patriot Founder

Published in honor of James Jackson's birthday, September 21. Delivered in Savannah, in February, 1806, by the Author of this work. IT is announced to us, that on the 19th day of the last month, departed this life, at the City of Washington, after a long and painful illness, Major General James Jackson, one of our Senators in the Congress…
Thomas U.P. Charlton
September 21, 2016
Review Posts

The Last of the Romans

This essay was originally published at The Imaginative Conservative and is published here in honor of Carroll's birthday, September 19. The last of the American signers of the Declaration of Independence to pass from this world, Charles Carroll of Carroll was also one of the most formally educated of the American founders. Living seventeen years in France and England, Carroll…
Bradley J. Birzer
September 19, 2016
Review Posts

Rethinking the War for the 21st Century

(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia) ****How Should 21st Century Americans Think about the War for Southern Independence? **** We human beings are peculiar creatures, half angel and half animal, as someone has said. Alone among creatures we have a consciousness of ourselves, of our situation, and of our movement through time. We have language,…
Clyde Wilson
September 14, 2016
Review Posts

Not Quite a Poem

It is not quite a poem though it would be had it a master worthy of its impulse. It is but at the hand of an apprentice a bit of prose yet with a lilt which would transcend its mundane form and become a goodly song, born of a memory of Grandma Peters’ declaration that the fall was “the thin…
Robert M. Peters
September 13, 2016
Review Posts

Choosing Southernness: Southern With an Italian Accent

Late in August 1965, a young boy not yet eight-years-old stood with his father on the field at Gettysburg near the spot where Pickett's men formed in the woods. The boy's father was not a learned man and had an uncertain grasp of the events that took place on that ground more than a century before. "Which side were we…
Mark G. Malvasi
September 6, 2016
Review Posts

The South as an Independent Nation

This article was originally published in Southern Partisan Magazine in 1997. "Being a Southerner is a spiritual condition, like being a Catholic or Jew." So wrote Richard Weaver in his essay "The South and the American Union" in The Lasting South (1957). The South's experience during the war for its independence, he added, only confirmed this separateness of spirit and…
William Cawthon
September 1, 2016
Review Posts

Who Won the Webster-Hayne Debate of 1830?

The dominant historical opinion of the famous debate between Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Robert Young Hayne of South Carolina which took place in the United States Senate in 1830 has long been that Webster defeated Hayne both as an orator and a statesman. According to the legend, Webster managed in the course of the debate to isolate the South,…
H. A. Scott Trask
August 30, 2016
Review Posts

Reflections of a Ghost: An Agrarian View After Fifty Years

Of the twelve agrarians who wrote the symposium I'll Take My Stand, only three are alive: Robert Penn Warren, the poet and novelist, Lyle Lanier, a psychologist and former executive vice-president of the University of Illinois, and myself, a writer and reader of fiction. I don't presume to speak either for Warren or Lanier, and I don't know how to…
Andrew Nelson Lytle
August 23, 2016
Review Posts

Truth in the Pit of Political Correctness

Last week’s vote (June 2016) to repudiate the Battle Flag by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) caught me by surprise and left me in shock. I have long considered our denomination to be socially conservative, prudent, and wise to stay out of issues that do not directly impact the mission of our church. I am a deacon but more importantly on…
Ben Thompson
August 16, 2016
Review Posts

A Southern Political Economy vs. American State Capitalism

General Lee was a soldier and leader of men, not a politician. Although several of his decisions as soldier had an important political impact in American history, he seldom discussed such matters. An exception is his correspondence with the British historian Acton shortly after the war. Acton had spent a long career studying how constitutional liberty had gradually developed as…
Clyde Wilson
August 10, 2016
Review Posts

American Culture: Massachusetts or Virginia

Delivered at the 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School. A Frenchman has observed that the qualities of a culture may be identified by two characteristics--- its manners and its cuisine. If that is so, then we can safely say that the United States, except for the South, has no culture at all. Aside from the South the only American contributions to…
Clyde Wilson
August 3, 2016
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The Tariff and Other Tales from Alabama

My friends, there is one issue before you, and to all sensible men but one issue, and but two sides to that issue. The slavery question is but one of the symbols of that issue; the commercial question is but one of the symbols of that issue; the Union question is but one of those symbols; the only issue before…
James Rutledge Roesch
August 1, 2016
Review Posts

Are Southerners Different?

This essay appeared in the 1984 winter issue of Southern Partisan magazine. In the best of all possible worlds, President Reagan, George Will, William Buckley and I—conservatives all—or so it would appear—should be able to sit down over glasses of sour mash and find ourselves in such sweet agreement on the range of problems facing the world and the humankind…
Review Posts

The Free State of Jones: History or Hollywood?

Hollywood has struck again with another “Civil War” movie that, unsurprisingly as it may seem, does not do justice to the real Southland or the Confederacy.  The latest episode is an epic by director Gary Ross, “Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey as the film’s hero, Newt Knight. “Free State of Jones” tells the story of a Knight-led rebellion…
Ryan Walters
July 12, 2016
Review Posts

Transcendentalism: The New England Heresy

In 1855 Putnam's Monthly carried an article by the Reverend Thomas Wentworth Higginson describing an African village. The vil­lagers, according to Higginson, were "active, commercial geniuses," who enjoyed "a remarkable language, and an even more remarkable recollection of proverbs." In fact, they resembled New Englanders. They were mechanically inventive and commercially fruitful. Their advanced culture was described by Higginson in…
Otto Scott
July 5, 2016
Review Posts

Instant Grits and Plastic Wrapped Crackers: Southern Culture and Regional Development

This essay was originally published in Louis D. Rubin, Jr., The American South: Portrait of a Culture, 1979, 27-37. In 1928, an unusually far-sighted southerner named Broadus Mitchell pondered the implications of the South's impending modernization, wondering "whether these great industrial developments will banish the personality of the South ... or whether the old spirit will actuate the new performance." "Will…
John Shelton Reed
June 30, 2016
Review Posts

Is Pluralism Enough?

Fr John Strickland, reflecting on the Renaissance of Western Europe, wrote, . . . For Burckhardt, the Renaissance (for the first time a distinct period in history) became the moment of cultural liberation, the breakthrough into the modern age of humanism, individualism, and secularism.  . . . At the heart of this breakthrough was the Renaissance’s reflection on the human…
Walt Garlington
June 21, 2016
Review Posts

My Son, Get Wisdom, Get Understanding

Address delivered to the graduates of the South Carolina College, December 1821. Gentlemen, YOU are now about to quit the precincts of the College, and to enter upon the commerce of the world. Your education is supposed to be finished; in reality it is about to commence. The roads that lead to knowledge useful and ornamental, have been pointed out…
Thomas Cooper
June 17, 2016
Review Posts

The Theology of Secession

At the very deepest level there is a central truth about the War Between the States which is now, even by the best of Southerners, almost never mentioned, although their forefathers had once spoken of its importance continuously. Indeed, they put emphasis upon it long after the War was over. From 1850 until 1912, this explanatory assumption was a commonplace…
M.E. Bradford
June 14, 2016
Review Posts

Jefferson Davis: A Judicial Estimate

This piece is published in honor of Davis's birthday, June 3. With unaffected distrust of my ability to meet the demands of such a great hour as this, I rejoice to be again on the beautiful campus of my alma mater, and have the opportunity of bringing a message to the young men of my country. And as this commencement…
Review Posts

A Character Sketch: John Randolph of Roanoke

Editor's Note: This piece is, at times, harsh in its assessment of Randolph's character and motives, but the anecdotes and language make it a fun read.  Randolph was eccentric, perhaps the greatest orator Virginia ever produced.  That is saying much.  He was a one man army against unconstitutional federal overreach, and as the author, Frederick William Thomas, notes spent much…
Review Posts

The Battle in Virginia Over the Constitution

This essay is reprinted in honor of Patrick Henry's birthday, May 29, from Moses Coit Tyler's Patrick Henry. The great convention at Philadelphia, after a session of four months, came to the end of its noble labors on the 17th of September, 1787. Washington, who had been not merely its presiding officer but its presiding genius, then hastened back to…
Moses Coit Tyler
May 30, 2016
Review Posts

Our American Cultural Revolution

Delivered April 16, 2016 as The 2016 Murray N. Rothbard Memorial Lecture at the Mises Institute, Auburn, AL. As the person who has been asked to deliver this year’s Murray N. Rothbard address, it seems appropriate to relate my remarks to the person being honored. Although the observations that follow may not have come directly from Murray, he and my…
Paul Gottfried
May 27, 2016
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Agrarianism and Cultural Renewal

This essay was originally printed at The Imaginative Conservative. Among the contributions to I’ll Take My Stand, Allen Tate’s “Remarks on the Southern Religion” is usually interpreted as the most acerbic, immoderate, and unusual essay in the collection. All too often the essay is read as an apologia for violence or an eccentric defense of tradition. In fact, Tate–like his…
H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
May 24, 2016
Review Posts

Southern Voices

Southern Voices: Poems by William H. Holcombe, M. D. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1872. We hail this volume as a beautiful presage of the future of the South in the department of poetry In saying that it is worthy of the author, who, for several years past, has been a brilliant star in the literary firmament of the…
Review Posts

Remember Us

Delivered May 6, 2016 in Columbia, SC. Archibald MacLeish was a 20th century poet, author and three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the following about the lost soldier: We were young. We have died. Remember us. We have done what we could but until It is finished it is not done. We have given our lives but until…
Herbert Chambers
May 10, 2016