So as we here in the US are going though a “deconfederatization’ moment (I just made that word up, I think. Do you like it?), the Ukraine is going through decommunization (which means they are ridding themselves of monuments and other symbols of their communist years). The coolest result of this? A Lenin monument has been transformed into Darth Vader. Perhaps we could turn Nathan Bedford Forrest statues into Han Solo, or something.
And speaking of our deconfederatization, Ole Miss responded to the student senate by removing the state flag from their campus! I’m not sure it will have any impact in getting the state to change their flag, but the University should be applauded for this move. Over on Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin hails it as “the most significant Confederate flag removal since Charleston.” Indeed.
Here’s a little history lesson that explains why Ben Carson is so wrong about Muslims, and why what he is saying is dangerous.
Remember that essay by Sean Wilentz that stirred up so much debate last month? Daniel Crofts now joins the ranks of those that have pushed back hard at Wilentz’s characterization of the Constitution as an antislavery document, and in the process takes an indirect (or maybe not so indirect) jab at James Oakes’s Freedom National, too. Thumbs up.
The Atlantic features and essay today from Annette Gordon-Reed that serves as a pretty decent historiography of Reconstruction, while pondering the question of “what if Reconstruction hadn’t failed?” Would we be closer to having many of our racial issues resolved by now? Perhaps. But while counterfactual history is dangerous, I believe she should have explored her premise more deeply, rather than spend the bulk of the essay on the historiography and role of historians in distorting and misusing the legacy of Reconstruction.
And my “just for for fun” Halloween-season post for today: College campuses sometime have the best ghost stories. Why? Here’s a good look at the cultural and social forces at play in various categories of campus spook tales. “The History of Haunted Campuses.”
And here’s a Halloween bonus from CBS news: What’s with our undying fascination with Jack the Ripper?