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How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy,…
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How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (udgave 2020)

af Heather Cox Richardson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
414860,653 (4.31)18
"While in the short term--militarily--the North won the Civil War, in the long term--ideologically--victory went to the South. The continual expansion of the Western frontier allowed a Southern oligarchic ideology to find a new home and take root. Even with the abolition of slavery and the equalizing power of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and the ostensible equalizing of economic opportunity afforded by Western expansion, anti-democratic practices were deeply embedded in the country's foundations, in which the rhetoric of equality struggled against the power of money. As the settlers from the East pushed into the West, so too did all of its hierarchies, reinforced by the seizure of Mexican lands at the end of the Mexican-American War and violence toward Native Americans. Both the South and the West depended on extractive industries--cotton in the former and mining and oil in the latter--giving rise to the creation of a white business elite"--… (mere)
Medlem:John_Doucet
Titel:How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America
Forfattere:Heather Cox Richardson (Forfatter)
Info:OUP USA (2020), 256 pages
Samlinger:History, Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America af Heather Cox Richardson

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» Se også 18 omtaler

Engelsk (7)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (8)
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The south may have lost the Civil War militarily, but it won that war politically. ( )
  ben_r47 | Feb 22, 2024 |
Interesting and enlightening review of American history with the emphasis on the original American paradox of being a nation with an ideal of equality for all, while also being a slave holding nation with laws that inhibit the freedoms of a majority of its people and prevent multitudes of citizens from being a part of the "self" governance. To defend the idea that this isn't a paradox, but a right and natural social hierarchy, white male oligarchs have preached a consistent and disturbingly successful message that equality for all really means a loss of liberty.

It is super depressing to trace the current day conservative message that one of government's MAIN responsibilities is to protect property, back to the slave holders reasoning for attempting to destroy the United States and start the Civil War. The slave holders argued that the federal government should protect, not take away, their "property", the people they had enslaved, and because it wasn't doing that well enough, they did not want to be a part of the union. Thus it is even more disturbing, when during the current protests, and people are saying that the destruction of property during these protests is just as wrong as the police brutality and murder they are protesting, you see the same message equating black people to property.

Another piece that stuck out to me was about William F Buckley Jr and his arguments that, "American's faith in reasoned debate was a worse superstition than the superstitions the enlightenment had replaced... Rather than try to change people's beliefs through evidence based arguments, ... those opposed to the New Deal should stand firm on an orthodoxy of religion and individualism and refuse to accept any questioning of those two fundamental principals. Rather than making a reasoned argument that fairly presented other positions it (his book) misrepresented the positions of the professors with whom Buckley disagreed, claimed that the wealthy, highly educated Buckley was the member of a persecuted minority, and smeared supporters of the liberal consensus as communists and atheists. "

and

"The minority can override the wishes of the majority if the majority was wrong. "

It is frustrating to see these ideas on steroids through Donald Trump and a certain "news"/entertainment conglomerate that has no shame in using fake images, videos and lies to spread their divisive narrative.

The last bit that stuck with me, was her arguments about the notion of American individualism, how it is used by movement conservatives to preserve oligarchy, and how it is so pervasive in so many of mine and probably most American's favorite stories, books and movies. :(


( )
  bangerlm | Jan 18, 2023 |
A fascinating look at the history of our country, seen through the lens of the struggle between democracy and oligarchy. The hook is in her title, suggesting that the southern principles that drove us to civil war never left the country - they just moved to more fertile ground: the new territories of the west. Fundamental to this struggle is the continuous story line used by conservatives, that by supporting all of the people, including those at the bottom rungs of society, freedom is lost for other (white) Americans.

After the Civil War, many white southerners migrated west, and confederate ideology took on a new life. Over time, aided by a media free of equal-time obligations, this west-southern Conservative movement has come to dominate American politics.

This book is only 200 pages, but it is not a quick read. It covers all of American history in that short space, and the text is compact with information. If anyone wonders who would follow the likes of Donald Trump, or listen to Rush Limbaugh, this book is the book to read. These people have been a part of the American experiment from the start. ( )
  peggybr | Apr 12, 2022 |
The author makes a case that the culture and ideas of the south didn't die with the Civil War, they just moved west, and now have managed to become a dominant theme in the country. She traces the patriarchal, hierarchical, white-centered culture of the antebellum period through the post-war years, then into the boom years of the Golden Age, and beyond, culminating in the Reagan presidency which changed the face of politics. She examines popular culture and how it built the myth of the self-made independent cowboy, even as the government was funding much of the growth of the west and protecting the settlers (and cowboys) from each other and from anything else that attacked. Well written, erudite, and easy for a non-historian to read and follow. Talking heads should read this. ( )
1 stem Devil_llama | Oct 28, 2021 |
This is a clear-eyed retelling of US history focusing on the many step-by-step legal and economic maneuverings that condemned black and other people people of color to a lower caste. Richardson, a political historian, presents a variety of factors at multiple turning points that created the United States we know today, casting light particularly on the ever-growing chasm between the two political parties. It's a must read for anyone interested in how we got where we are now and how we might create a better future. ( )
  dcvance | May 4, 2021 |
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(Introduction) The moment in July 1964 when Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater took the stage at the Cow Palace outside San Francisco and beamed at the cheering Republicans who had just nominated him for president is iconic--but not for the reasons we remember.
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"While in the short term--militarily--the North won the Civil War, in the long term--ideologically--victory went to the South. The continual expansion of the Western frontier allowed a Southern oligarchic ideology to find a new home and take root. Even with the abolition of slavery and the equalizing power of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and the ostensible equalizing of economic opportunity afforded by Western expansion, anti-democratic practices were deeply embedded in the country's foundations, in which the rhetoric of equality struggled against the power of money. As the settlers from the East pushed into the West, so too did all of its hierarchies, reinforced by the seizure of Mexican lands at the end of the Mexican-American War and violence toward Native Americans. Both the South and the West depended on extractive industries--cotton in the former and mining and oil in the latter--giving rise to the creation of a white business elite"--

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