The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader

The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader : The "Great Truth" About the "Lost Cause"

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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.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 816.46g
  • University Press of Mississippi
  • Jackson, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 1604732180
  • 9781604732184

Review quote

"This important and persuasive book explodes the myths surrounding slavery, secession, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" should be required reading for classroom teachers. It deals with crucial events in this nation's history--and it is as current as today's news.--John Dittmer, author of "Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi" and "The Good Doctors: The Medical Committee for Human Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice in Health Care"

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Flap copy

Resounding documentary proof that the original reasoning behind secession and subsequently myth-making was in defense of slavery and white supremacy

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About James W. Loewen

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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