Friday, August 31, 2012

Return to Work, and Return to History

It's been a long summer in the Middle East, but I am back in California and prepping my classroom for the coming school year. Since I will be teaching US Government and American History, I felt this piece in the new issue of Jacobin Magazine was worth a read. James Oak's piece challanges the lazy narrative adopted in recent decades that the American Civil War was about anything but Slavery. He writes:

"Unwilling to take seriously what contemporaries were saying, historians have constructed a narrative of Emancipation and the Civil War that begins with the premise that Republicans came into the war with no intention of attacking slavery – indeed, that they disavowed any antislavery intentions. The narrative is designed to demonstrate the original premise, according to which everyone at the time was mistaken about what the Republicans intended to do."

Definitly worth a read. Just avoid the totalitarian ramblings of Richard Seymour on the front page.

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