Storied wealth, culture, and aristocratic society. Massive mansions full of servants next to scenes of unspeakable poverty. Vast green plantations capable of feeding entire nations. And supporting it all, the Peculiar Institution that is slavery. (more…)
For a long time, there’s been a great deal of controversy about the effect of a legal fiction used during the Civil War. To this day, the U.S. Armed Forces maintain this position, and a lot of folks don’t much care for that fact. Let me simplify it a little and lay it out for you, and you can judge for yourselves. (more…)
In Easton, Pennsylvania stands a massive monument to the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. There’s a central column seventy-five feet high surmounted by a statue of a bugler. Around the base are granite statues, plaques, plinths, and a fountained moat. It is massive, ugly, surprisingly tasteless, and dedicated to the honored dead.
And nobody is agitating to have it pulled down.
From Baltimore to Texas, all across the South, monuments to the soldiers (more…)
Slavery is not why most men fought in the Civil War.
I’m going to explain this in a moment, but stop a moment and observe: The first reaction of many people to my initial statement is one of instant and violent rejection. In these emotionally charged times, fully half of my readers will refuse to go on from here; many more will fail to understand their meaning in the light of their preconceptions. Some will doubtless accuse me of lying or of deliberately being hateful.
And so let me hasten to clarify: Slavery was one of the great horrors of history, a crime against (more…)
Look, it’s not complicated. The headlines are there to catch your eye; the articles are the part that you read to figure out what’s being said. And that’s not just with me; it’s with everyone — every news source, every pundit, everything.
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.
I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent. Some have asked what I got to eat; if I did not feel lonesome; if I was not afraid; and the like. Others have been curious to learn what (more…)