(March 19, 2020) Although modern academic Civil War historians believe themselves to be truth-seekers, they are just as likely to delude themselves with argumentum ad populum as historians of an earlier era. However, their greatest failure is censorship. They fiercely censor viewpoints they falsely label as Lost Cause Mythology even when the rubric is misapplied. They often erroneously feel that they have an uncorrupted pipeline to the truth, lacking in the work of earlier historians. They behave as though they are an elite priesthood, much like the IBM technicians did in the era of mainframe computers.
Nonetheless, earlier historians no doubt were just as truth-seeking as today’s academics and were just as conscientious at their work. The key difference is that earlier professors did not censor new ideas thereby enabling today’s dominate perspectives to take root and grow. In contrast, too many modern academics are intolerant, even tyrannical, in opposition to different ideas. Consider the following:
1. During this Christian Keller interview about his new book on the Lee-Jackson military partnership, the academic interviewer asks Keller why he picked the topic given the opprobrium associated with the Confederacy. Even worse, Keller responds apologetically. He explained that he began the project before the anti-Confederate-statue movement became significant.
2. Last November (2019) the Lincoln Forum hosted a panel on Confederate statues at their Gettysburg conference, but not a single one of the four academic participants was a statue defender. Since I have been unable to find any academic online panel discussion that contains a solitary Confederate monument defender, I would be thankful to readers who can provide some. I would also welcome links to online speeches by academics defending Confederate statues because I have also not been able to find any of those.
When 70% – 80% of a group are in agreement, you have a consensus. When 99% are in agreement, you’re in North Korea.
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The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh