Evaluate/discuss main points in Horwitz’s discussion of “Southern apologists” in Confederates in the Attic.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Threaded throughout Horwitz’s work are some general apologist themes; one of the more colorful occurs in the interview with Shelby Foote, author of the three volume Civil War series that made him famous.  Foote, a Southerner by birth, explained that in Southern society, a person’s allegiance and identity was to one’s people first, and to point of view or opinion second.  “I’d be with my people, right or wrong.  If I was against slavery, I’d still be with the South. . . .all Southerners subscribe to this code to some degree.” 

Later, following a tour group of school children, a parent with the group commented that she was teaching her children about the Civil War from a “Christian perspective” and that among other things slavery was just a period in history, not a big deal in the mid-1800’s, and that Southerners were fighting for their way of life more than anything else.  In a Montgomery, Alabama library, Horwitz also ran across some old history textbooks.  One, from the 1940’s, stated that slavery would have been abolished in the South eventually, anyway, and one from 1961 showed propagandaesque cartoons of smiling field hands with bright, white teeth and smiling female slaves right alongside them. 


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