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The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader

The "Great Truth" about the "Lost Cause

James W. Loewen (editor) Edward H. Sebesta (editor)

ISBN: 9781604732191

Publication Date: Jul 2010

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Most Americans hold basic misconceptions about the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the actions of subsequent neo-Confederates. Errors persist because most have never read the key documents about the Confederacy. These documents, set in context by sociologist and historian James W. Loewen and co-editor, Edward H. Sebesta, put in perspective the mythology of the Old South.
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Most Americans hold basic misconceptions about the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the actions of subsequent neo-Confederates. For example, two thirds of Americans--including most history teachers--think the Confederate States seceded for "states' rights." This error persists because most have never read the key documents about the Confederacy.

These documents have always been there. When South Carolina seceded, it published "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." The document actually opposes states' rights. Its authors argue that Northern states were ignoring the rights of slave owners as identified by Congress and in the Constitution. Similarly, Mississippi's "Declaration of the Immediate Causes …" says, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery--the greatest material interest of the world."

Later documents in this collection show how neo-Confederates obfuscated this truth, starting around 1890. The evidence also points to the centrality of race in neo-Confederate thought even today and to the continuing importance of neo-Confederate ideas in American political life. The 150th anniversary of secession and civil war provides a moment for all Americans to read these documents, properly set in context by award-winning sociologist and historian James W. Loewen and co-editor, Edward H. Sebesta, to put in perspective the mythology of the Old South.

Pages 448
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Jul 2010
Publisher University Press of Mississippi
Subject/s History of the Americas   American Civil War  
Sociologist James W. Loewen, Washington, D.C., is the best-selling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. He is also the author of Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks; Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism; Social Science in the Classroom; and Mississippi: Conflict and Change. He is professor emeritus at the University of Vermont. |Edward H. Sebesta, Dallas, Texas, is a coeditor of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction. He was awarded the "Spirit of Freedom" Medal of Honor by the African American Civil War Museum Freedom Foundation for outstanding service to educate and facilitate awareness of the African American Civil War experience.

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