Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Remembering 1861

If you haven't been following the Times' columns on the coming of the Civil War, they are really quite good. I like them not only because they tell key stories of American history, but because most of them don't forecast the known future. They try to tell the stories from the perspective of people in late 1860, when Lincoln was a newly-elected president from whom no one knew what to expect, when it was unclear what Virginia and Tennessee would do, and when everyone realized James Buchanan had no idea what he was doing. OK, that last part has been well-known since 1860, but the deifying of Lincoln sometimes has made it hard to understand his growth.

The blog here has been somewhat content-lite of late because I am so overwhelmingly busy, but there's great historical writing going on all over the internet, including at the Times. Here's today's great piece on Harriet Tubman.