Confederates in the Attic

by Tony Horwitz

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In Confederates in the Attic, what characteristics of the South does Tony Horwitz find significant by the time he reaches Kentucky? Specifically North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia

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By the time Horwitz reaches Kentucky, he has learned many things about Southern character in general, and how Southerners remember the Civil War specifically.  "Southerners are very strange about that war," Shelby Foote is quoted as saying at the beginning of the book, and Horwitz has some stories to tell to prove it.  At a library in North Carolina, Horwitz attends a birthday party for Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson where chicken-in-a-biscuit and lemon snaps are served to honor, respectively, Lee (and the pet hen he took with him during the 1863 campaigns) and Jackson (who was said to have sucked on the candy during fighting).  In South Carolina, Horwitz learns that Charlestonians would just as soon forget about the war and focus on tourism, and in Columbia, he meets a gentleman who decrees that the United States government is being controlled by Israel and the only hope for America is to revive the Old Confederacy.  In Kentucky, Horwitz stumbles into a near brawl at a dangerous biker bar called "Redbone" and then finds Jim and Velma recruiting for the KKK out of an old rusty Buick. While Jim proselytizes abou "God, Race and Nations" and collects $25 from anyone wishing to join, Velma regales Horowitz with stories of her grandkids, Christmas crafts, and a cross-burning she is looking forward to.  In Virginia, he takes part in the Confederate side of a reenactment of the Battle of the Wilderness, and later receives withering looks from African-Americans in the grocery store. 

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