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Civil War

Of Movements, Rebellions & Revolutions

A revolution is an opinion that has got its hands on some bayonets. So said Napoleon Bonaparte, who knew about such things. Fair enough: Throughout history, most revolutions have been brought about at the point of a spear or the end of a gun barrel—for, Mohandas Gandhi and Václav Havel notwithstanding, violence often precedes political change.

The Road to the Country

May 14, 2015

To get to the country, make sure your car is in good shape.
You must fill your tank with gas and carry more in a cask.
Take enough food, medicine, clothes, water, a mat, and a blanket.

Since Appomattox

April 9, 2015

“It was after sunrise of a bright morning when from the Manchester high grounds we turned to take our last look at the old city for which we had fought so long & so hard... The whole river front seemed to be in flames, amid which occasional h [...]

Confederate  reenactor with straps.  Gettysburg,  PA, 2011.

Lost Causes

Confederate reenactors take pride in their Southern heritage, but struggle with the centrality of slavery and racism to the Confederacy.

General Jackson's "Chancellorsville" Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before his mortal wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville

Stonewall Jackson’s Arm

May 2, 2013

I was walking through a cornfield in search of a cemetery in the middle of Virginia. A fox trotted across the path in front of me and disappeared in the forest of stalks with barely a rustle. I was searching for Stonewall Jackson’s lost arm.

The Fire: The Price of Oil in Africa

Nigeria should be a massively rich country. It’s the most populous nation in Africa and the world’s sixth leading oil producer. Over a quarter trillion dollars in oil has been lifted from Nigerian soils and waters in the last four decades. But after years of military rule and rampant corruption, fueled by these oil monies, the country is mired in billions of dollars in debt and is wracked by poverty.

Bad History

  Columbus liked to wear giant plumed hats, and was fond of a woman he later sold for beads. The Civil War started sometime in an early morning rain, and continues to this day. Nietzsche said that all that glistens is gold. Chaucer told tales [...]

Book Notes

CURRENT EVENTS The Fall of Baghdad, by Jon Lee Anderson. Penguin, October 2004. $24.95 There are the events around the war—water shortages, last-minute evacuations, Sahaf the Information Minister defiantly pronouncing the slaughter of U.S. soldier [...]

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