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Blog Post

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Department 1

Civil War Era Studies


Presentism. Aside from historical revisionism, it is perhaps the 'epithet' with which the modern historian find themselves branded the most. I've been reading again a series of screeds by Bill Vallante, a Confederate reenactor and SCV member from Commack, NY (thanks to John Hennessy). I've read these pages before, but this time around was struck by the abject vitriol which oozes from the language employed. A line in one piece in particular stood out to me as quite angry:

"Add a heavy dose of presentism (judging or interpreting the past according to the standards of the present), mix thoroughly and serve COLD to an unknowing, non-thinking viewing public and call it... HISTORY." [excerpt]


Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public is written by alum and adjunct professor, John Rudy. Each post is his own opinions, musings, discussions, and questions about the Civil War era, public history, historical interpretation, and the future of history. In his own words, it is "a blog talking about how we talk about a war where over 600,000 died, 4 million were freed and a nation forever changed. Meditating on interpretation, both theory and practice, at no charge to you."

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License