Selected Books and DVD Videos by Abbeville Scholars

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______ Brion McClanahan and Mike Church, editors of Albert Taylor Bledsoe’s Is Davis a Traitor? Or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War of 1861? Published a year after the war, it provides the best argument every assembled in one book for the constitutional right of secession. Everyone interested in the overall design of the Constitution ratified by the several States in 1788 should read this book.

______ Lee Cheek, Sean R. Busick, Carey Roberts, editors, Patrick Henry-Onslow Debate: Liberty and Republicanism in American Political Thought. A public debate carried on by President John Quincy Adams and Vice President John C. Calhoun under the pen names of “Patrick Henry” and “Onslow.” This important, but little known debate, about the limits of federal power is arguably more salient now than when it occurred.

______ Clyde Wilson, Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. A Collection of insightful essays on how Southerners think of themselves in the light of how they are perceived by outside cultural elites.

______ Marshall DeRosa, The Enduring Relevance of Robert E. Lee: The Ideological Warfare Underpinning the American Civil War. DeRosa uses the figure of Robert E. Lee to consider the role of political leadership under extremely difficult circumstances, examining Lee as statesman rather than just a military leader and finds that many of Lee’s assertions are still relevant today. DeRosa reveals Lee’s awareness that the victory of the Union over the Confederacy placed America on the path towards the demise of government based upon the consent of the governed, the rule of law, and the Judeo-Christian American civilization.

______ Brion McClanahan, The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution. An article by article and clause by clause analysis of the Constitution ratified by the founding generation of 1787 and 1788, a Constitution quite different from what the political class in Washington understands.

______ Thomas Fleming, The Morality of Everyday Life: Rediscovering An Ancient Alternative to the Liberal Tradition. Fleming (editor of Chronicles, A Magazine of American Culture) explains how the morality embedded in the ideology of liberalism leads to the decadence of morality in contemporary American society.

______ Clyde Wilson and Brion McClanahan, Forgotten Conservatives in American History. A study of thinkers who exemplify conservatism in a Jeffersonian idiom rather than a Hamiltonian.

______ Richard Gamble, In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth. A history of the “city on a hill” metaphor from its Puritan beginnings to its role in American “civil religion” today.

______ Kevin Gutzman, James Madison and the Making of America, judged by Clyde Wilson to be the “standard” on Madison for sometime.

______ Thomas Woods, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century. A readable, comprehensive treatment of the constitutionality of State interposition and nullification.
Should be in the hands of every State legislator.

______ W. Kirk Wood, Nullification: A Constitutional History, 1776-1833. Vol. 1: James Madison, Not the Father of the Constitution.

______ W. Kirk Wood, Nullification, A Constitutional History, 1776-1833. Vol. 2: James Madison and the Constitutionality of Nullification, 1787-1828. In this thoroughly researched and magisterial two volume work, Wood shows how nullification was an “American” constitutional principle (essential to republicanism), and not merely a Southern sectional one. And he explains how and why republicanism has been suppressed.

______ Donald Livingston, Rethinking the American Union for the 21st Century. Essays raising the question of whether the United States has become simply too large for self-government and should be divided into a number of Unions of States as Jefferson thought it should. (The book is signed by Livingston who wrote the “Introduction” and contributed an essay).

______ David Bridges, The Broken Circle, is a historical novel (as close to historical detail as a novel can be), about Major James Breathed, an officer of horse artillery for JEB Stuart. Classically educated, deeply religious, and preparing for a career in medicine when his country was invaded, he reluctantly became a fierce warrior. He was wounded several times fighting from the very beginning to the end, in 71 battles. The Sons of Confederate Veterans recently awarded him the Medal of Honor.

_____ John J. Langdale, III, Superfluous Southerners, Cultural Conservatism and the South, 1920-1990. Explores the “traditionalist” conservatism that originated with John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, and Allen Tate and continued with their intellectual descendants, Cleanth Brooks, Richard Weaver, and Melvin Bradford.

_____ Samuel C. Smith, A Cautious Enthusiasm: Mystical Piety and Evangelicalism in Colonial South Carolina. Smith shows how Evangelical revivalism in the colonial South Carolina low country had origins in Roman Catholic mysticism, Huguenot Calvinists and German pietism. This disposition, usually identified only with Evangelicals, touched even high Anglicans and Catholics making possible a bond of low country patriotism in the Revolutionary era.

_____ David Middleton, Fiddler of Driskill Hill, a collection of this prize winning poet’s work set in his home region of rural Louisiana, a place which views the world from a conservative, southern agrarian perspective. The fiddler is a figure of the traditionalist southern-agrarian artist.


_____Bourbon and Kentucky: A History Distilled, explores how distilling originated in Kentucky with it’s first settlers in 1775, and takes the viewer to the sites of Central Kentucky’s earliest distilling operations. Magnificent portraits and landscapes adorn the production.

_____The Southern Cross: The Story of the Confederacy’s First Battle Flag, chronicles the history of the design and creation of a flag that became the prototype for the famous Confederate battle flags. The hand-stitched silk flag with gold painted stars was borne by the Fifth Company of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans through the Battles of Shiloh and Perryville.

The flag was designed and made for the army after the first battle of Manassas as a military necessity and wholly without the authority or even the knowledge of the Confederate government. Mary Henry Lyon Jones of Richmond, Virginia stitched the flag together. After Generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston approved Ms. Jones’s flag, sewing circles of more than four hundred women in Richmond sewed 120 flags made from Ms. Jones’s original design.

_____Jefferson Davis: An American President, the first and definitive documentary film on the entire life of patriot and president, Jefferson Davis. Across three beautifully shot and edited episodes, the full spectrum of Davis’ life comes into view: from his frontier origins and service to the United States as military officer, congressman, secretary of war, and two-term senator from Mississippi; to his rise and fall as Confederate President; through his unlawful two year imprisonment after the War; and finally covering his 25 years as a man struggling to find his place in a world in which it was no longer clear what it meant to be an American.