It is a well-established truth that the South, despite being under the ban of righteous mainstream “America” for two centuries, has always attracted admirers from outside. Intelligent and earnest admirers from above the Potomac and Ohio and from across the sea. It is still happening even in these terrible times when the South has been banished to one dark little corner labeled “slavery and treason.”
For strong evidence I present Isaac C. Bishop’s new book Defending Dixie’s Land: What Every American Should Know About the South and the Civil War (available amazon paperback and Kindle).
When I got a ways into this book I jumped in the air and clicked my heels, although it is unseemly and unsafe at my age. Mr. Bishop is a lifelong Vermonter who has done his own thinking and his own research, research broader and deeper than that of a great many “professional historians” who are becoming more and more experts in cherry-picking evidence from the past.
Mr. Bishop’s initial impulse came from his uneasiness at the woke America all around him. An overweening, crony capitalist central government and falling moral standards did not seem to him what the Founding Fathers had intended. He wanted to know what had happened to his country.
A little reading showed him that he had been lied to about an imaginary wonderful Lincoln and about some other things and prompted an exploration of the genuine historical sources. What he found supported every position of Southerners toward the nature and meaning of the great bloodletting of 1861—1865. He came to understand that that’s when the rock started rolling downhill, that the results of the Late Unpleasantness were related to the Present Unpleasantness.
Bishop takes on every issue in the catalogue—slavery, the real confederal nature of the Union before 1861, the greed and malice that fueled the Yankee invasion, the Republican establishment of state capitalism–a government of the rich that leaves most of the people behind–the atrocious Lincoln Myth, Northern racism, black Confederates, and much else.
Bishop bases his case on many sources that are long neglected and draws new insights from them. This a real historian–the real thing who follows the evidence without moralistic or ideological assumptions. He also quotes a good deal from the works of several Abbeville scholars.
The South’s long standing attraction for serious and honest people is understandable. Because for serious and honest people who have looked at the truth, the Confederacy was a heroic epic fight for independence. The vicious, massive and ruthless invasion and conquest of the South by an aggressive class of Northerners was not a holy war of emancipation. It was marked by heavy elements of greed and malice, had no interest in the welfare of the black people, and destroyed the intentions of the Founders. Dixie was not the sole sinner but was in fact the lesser sinner of those days.
America will not come to honest terms with itself until it begins to admit the realities that this author has uncovered.
In my time I have written probably 200 or more book reviews. I have never used the comment “you ought to get this book.” I am using it now.