Civil War Era Studies
One of my favorite movies is Back to the Future III. I know that is a terrible choice in some folks' eyes. The response I usually get is an, "ugh!" and a snarl of the lip. Still, I think there is so much going on in that film, from the struggle between fatalism and free will to the themes of love and sacrifice, heartache and heartbreak.
The reason Back to the Future III comes up in my mind today, though, is because of a dialogue within the public history world that appears to be heating up, thanks in part to both Kevin Levin and Ed Ayers (via James Loewen). The "Next Interpretive Challenge," of making the Civil War matter to an increasingly disconnected and diverse audience is crucial to the survival of the War's legacy, chiefly the emancipation ethic. [excerpt]
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Rudy, John M., ""That all men are created equal...": Universal Relevance and the Civil War" (2011). Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public. 176.