welcome to our communal nightmare
Take it away, Shep –
descensus in cuniculi cavum
Take it away, Shep –
A really excellent talk on by Ethan S. Rafuse on McClellan and Lee, and the gentlemanly/outdated West Point notions they brought to the Civil War. (Which, by the way, didn’t hamper Robert E. Lee from fighting in the way it did McClellan.)
As a University of Missouri alumnus – where I was born – as well as serving as Park Ranger at the Harry S. Truman National Memorial Site, I like his nod to technology at the beginning of his talk. My father would most definitely approve.
“The Civil War –“
(“Looks like we got an issue with the Clicker, here.”)
“Either Duct tape it or slam it into something. One of those two will make it work.”
This sets up perfectly a lecture titled: “We always understood each other so well.”
And also makes me take a little curve into the virtuoso performance of James Whitmore in Samuel Gallo’s
which, of course, my Dad filmed just in time for the 1976 elections and then unveiled in “Whistle Stop Campaign” fashion. While not an exacting historical record, it gets wholly deserved recognition for bringing focus back onto Truman’s legacy.
“…’Well, Congressman, while I am most grateful of your concern for me and your possible influence with the Almighty, from what I know of the man, He’s got a helluva lot more important things to do –”
“Alright. Now the next one is going to Senator Bishop of Colorado —
not only would I not appoint John L. Lewis, Ambassador to the Soviet Union —
So, this fact is obviously not news to Ethan S. Rafuse – military historian – but since you mention cotton,
Look, I’m sure this is probably the stuff of tons of scholarly debate that simply doesn’t rise to my level of experience, but point me to it, because I would very much like to add to it.
I could, in but a few hours, add thousands of words and hundreds of footnotes on why this was
the stupidest decision ever in the history of warfare.
And that statement contains only the thinnest shred of hyperbole, despite my reputation.
Even in the realm of the tightest Secondary Order Effect [SOE] it has little payoff for what should have been seen as an unacceptable risk.
No serious scholar argues this.
In trying and starve the globe of cotton in the hopes that it would come begging, the South also bankrupted itself.
But of course, the worst and most foreseeable risk was that the world might discover that it could survive just fine without slave-picked cotton.
As it did.
Meanwhile, you’ve bankrupted yourself for the promise of a payday that will never materialize.
So I really want to concentrate on Vicksburg but because Vicksburg was really about long, difficult, and seemingly endless preparation and because in that situation the purely personal relationships are key – and because Steve Knott’s Army War College lecture is so good – I’m going to put it up first so that at least I will have it close by to liven up my swamp digging siege stuff.
Let Steve Knot tell you why Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart ended up in Carlisle while the rest of the Confederates were converging on Gettysburg. Then we’ll head back to the long slog at Vicksburg.
Actually, you know what, before the terrain heavy, tactical, and brilliant siege Grant laid to Vicksburg, I think, because this is my own damn blog and I can put up any damn thing I want, it is my pleasure to just roll around in the amazingness of Grant in general and this, in my humble opinion, is one of the best takes on him that exists.
From the YouTube description:
“How does a black person not get shot in America?”
I have become a certified MOOC freak. There are several different platforms for MOOCS – Massive Open Online Courses – such as edX and Coursera, and happily many others are available on YouTube. (Many are available through those platforms as well as on YouTube.)
I prefer the edX platform if I use one. I have never gotten a certificate or worried about that at all, so I ride free, just for the joy of cramming my ever-curious mind.
What’s so amazing is that anyone at all can, for free, peek in at some of the most elite and incredible classes being taught today.
Harvard’s most popular course, “Justice,” for instance, taught by Professor Michael Sandel, is a class everyone should at least check out. I am big on “archived” courses, because they are always “self-paced,” but Justice actually just began again for real, so check it out.
Here’s the little course intro video and text below:
Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.
The principal readings for the course are texts by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls. Other assigned readings include writings by contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.
Other favorites of mine are Boston University’s War for the Greater Middle East taught by the amazing Andrew Bacevich – archived now at edX – and all three of the foremost Lincoln/Civil War Historian’s – (Dr. Eric Foner’s) – courses on Civil War and Reconstruction from Columbia University.