Freedom, the Civil War, and Its Complicated Legacy

Here’s John Hennessy, Chief Historian of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, giving an absolutely fantastic lecture on the legacy of the Civil War. You might want to bookmark this and view it periodically. It’s that good. We can even forgive him for being a Penguins fan. 🙂 It’s always a treat to hear John speak, and this is no exception. I highly recommend it.

The video’s description reads, “More so than any other era of the nation’s history, Americans have grappled with the meaning and legacy of the Civil War. Join John Hennessey, Chief Historian of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, for an examination of the continued relevance and the complex, controversial, and often contested legacies of the American Civil War”

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5 comments

  1. Thanks for posting this Al.

    1. My pleasure, Pat.

  2. Shoshana Bee · · Reply

    After three days of contemplation, I can finally comment on this video.

    I am appreciative of the fact that John Hennessey in some ways excuses the somewhat cautious approach that I have taken with my studies of the Civil War. By this, I mean that about a week into my announced “study”, my friend brought over the Shelby Foote trilogy and decreed that it was time I read them. I declined. My reasoning was that I was still at such an impressionable stage, that I ran the risk of never developing my own analysis of what the CW was about, rather, I would become merely a product of the author’s point of view – part of his narrative, rather than adopting an unbiased presentation of events as they unfolded. I feel very very fortunate that this video came so early in my studies, because the takeaway of the message is now going to accompany me as I move along in my learning. Most particularly, I will try not be lured and lulled by the romance of memorialization, rather, I will try to keep with the sharp eye and clear head of the historian.

    1. I recommend James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom as an excellent, scholarly overview.

      1. Shoshana Bee · · Reply

        Thank you! Next stop: Amazon 🙂

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