RE: Civil War


It was definitely about slavery.  Not so much in existing states — at least not directly.  What it boiled down to was whether future states admitted into the Union would be free or slave because they feared an imbalance would end up threatening the institution as a whole.‬

‪The South’s economy was slave based, so naturally that would have been their chief concern (just look at the post-war economic collapse), but culture definitely played a substantial role as well.  The antebellum lifestyle was simply unsustainable after slavery had been abolished.‬

‪Where the question of self determination comes in is with regard to whether the states could legally secede, and even more to the point, whether the federal government had the authority to STOP them from leaving.  And that’s a subject that continues to be debated to this day.‬

Liberty’s Kids


I recently recommended this to the guy who turned me on to American history back in hi skool:

It’s an animated series about the American Revolution, as seen through the eyes of three kids — an Amer’kin, a Brit, and a Frenchie. My kid loves it, and so do I.

It does a great job of presenting the war from ALL sides — not just the mainstream American and British perspectives — and it doesn’t shy away from sneuflake-triggering issues such as slavery, the treatment of free blacks, and the oppression of civilians who remained loyal to the crown.

But it also paints a very noble picture of what the Patriots were trying to accomplish, even during such times when they clearly stray from those goals.

And the level of detail is astonishing. I highly, highly recommend. ❤️

FACEBOOK: Henry “Black Death” Johnson


Been reading up on World War I, and the prize for Most Epic Badass undoubtedly goes to Henry “Black Death” Johnson of the Harlem Hellfighters, who — despite a rather modest upbringing in North Carolina — fought Germans in the style of the berserkr, presumably after dedicating each bloodletting to Odin. (He would later go on to slay the dragon Fafnir and help bind Fenrir with dwarf-forged cord of silk — which was how he came to lose use of his hand.)

Johnson was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and decorated with the highest honors the French military had to offer. Yet despite receiving a hero’s welcome upon his return to the States, neither his wounds nor his valor were officially recognized by U.S. Army, and the man who single-handedly fought off 2-3 DOZEN enemy soldiers at Argonne was denied disability pay. A clerical error, I’m sure.

FACEBOOK: JFK’s Death Was No Big Deal


So I have this set of history textbooks that were published in 1962, the second of which was reprinted within months of JFK’s death to reflect the premature expiration of his term — without so much as mentioning the premature expiration of JFK.

Now, I would totally expect a certain degree of white-washing from any textbook that employs such terminology as “the Negro,” and “coloreds,” while managing (quite impressively) to avoid use of the words ‘Nazi’ and ‘Jew’ in all three chapters about World War II. But you’d think they would at least acknowledge that the guy was dead. I mean, I wasn’t alive in 1963/4, but I think a President of the United States being assassinated would be kind of a big deal… not to mention one for the history books.

FACEBOOK: Thanksgiving


I am thankful for Bruce Campbell, Stuart Devenie, Stephen Papps, and Verne Troyer for their heartfelt performances in that holiday masterpiece of American patriotism, “One, Two, Three: Give Me Lady Liberty.”

If you have not seen this episode of Jack of All Trades — a highly-educational historical docuseries brought to you by The Three Sages (Tapert, Raimi, and Campbell) — it means you are a bad American and probably get most of your “History” from reading textbooks.

FACEBOOK: Shovel, Plz


I’m midway through a bio of Alexander Hamilton published half a century ago by an elderly scholar, and I’ve already had to look up so many words and archaic expressions that I’ve started making flashcards.

Someone lend me a shovel and a copy of Professor Knowby’s Necronomicon, cuz this guy’s a keeper.