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Posts Tagged: Civil War

Why the Civil War Is Still Worth Talking About

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Byliner’s list of spectacular nonfiction articles of 2012 highlights two complementary essays from the Atlantic‘s Civil War issue.

First, Yoni Appelbaum uses a hyperrealistic “cyclotron” painting of the Battle of Gettysburg as a pin to puncture the national narrative that the Union and the Confederacy were equally noble, and that veterans from both sides had only to recognize their mutual heroism to become “comrades.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the same battle and the same narrative (as well as the same Faulkner passage) from a different perspective.

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Burns Gets Burned

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Remember all those VHS tapes that added up to a compendium of everlasting Civil War knowledge?

It turns out Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary series isn’t entirely accurate, but in fact, “deeply misleading and reductive.” This may feel like a betrayal for those of us who were weaned on his sentimental historical depictions, or mesmerized by the zooming in and out of battle scene paintings.

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“Pastor Witherspoon Goes to War”

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I’ve been an ardent follower of the NY Times Disunion blog almost since it started. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the Times is reliving the Civil War in a sense, offering a day by day discussion of the war through the eyes of the people who lived it, offering access to not only the famous figures we learned of in history books, but also those whose stories haven’t gotten the same level of attention, like that of Pastor Dwight Witherspoon.

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