Thursday, September 30, 2010

The "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" recommended by and

The word is getting out there! These two groups reach thousands of teachers across the United States, and the teachers will reach hundreds of thousands of students and the students will go on to let many more know about the historical truth of the Civil War. We are moving on in broadcast media, in print, in the classroom, and elsewhere.

This is the web page of "Rethinking Schools" recommending our book.

This is the notice which will be in the Fall 2010 print edition as well as the web page.

The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: “The Great Truth” About the “Lost Cause” Edited by James W. Loewen and Edward H. Sebesta(University Press of Mississippi, 2010)424 pp., $25

James Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, co-edited this collection of primary documents because the story they tell about the Civil War is not found in textbooks. The editors explain that “the declarations supplied by the 11 Confederate states as they left the union are among the most important documents in the history of our nation.” Yet not only do textbooks avoid the documents, “the accounts they provide contradict the historical record.”

The result is widespread misinformation about the cause of the Civil War. In surveys across the country, Loewen found that the great majority of audiences (including teachers) thought states’ rights was the cause. Only 15 percent named the preservation of slavery as the key factor. In addition to a well-organized and annotated collection of primary documents, the editors provide background on when and why the narrative about the causes of the Civil War was rewritten in American consciousness.

And this is the web page of Teaching for Change recommending our book.

This is the online article.

On September 20, 2010, James Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, spoke to a full house at Busboys and Poets about his new book The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: “The Great Truth” About the “Lost Cause" (University Press of Mississippi, 2010). The event was coordinated by Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore. Co-edited with Edward H. Sebesta, this book is a collection of primary documents on the Civil War. Loewen explained that, “the declarations supplied by the 11 Confederate states as they left the union are among the most important documents in the history of our nation.” Yet not only do textbooks avoid the documents, “the accounts they provide contradict the historical record.” The result is widespread misinformation about the cause of the Civil War.

Loewen opened the evening with a one-question, multiple choice survey, explaining that everyone had to vote and that they could only vote once. The question was: “Why did the Southern states secede?” and the audience had to select from four options: slavery, states’ rights, election of Lincoln, tariffs and taxes. At Busboys and Poets, the majority selected slavery. Loewen said this response was highly unusual. He has conducted this survey with audiences across the country and the vast majority (including teachers) selected states’ rights as the cause. Only 15 percent named the most correct answer, the preservation of slavery, as the key factor. In his talk he described when the myth of states’ rights as the cause developed and why.
There was a lively discussion following his talk, with audience members thanking Loewen for providing this invaluable resource and asking how to help use the book to shift public understanding. A 5th grade teacher from EL Haynes Public Charter School, Mr. Kiplinger, said that when people tell him the motive is “states’ rights”, he asks them, “Which states’ rights?” Invariably they respond “The right to own slaves.” This answer helps him point out that therefore slavery was really the root cause or motive.

Author Richard Morris wrote about the event on his blog and commented, “Once again, Barbara and I were delighted to travel to Busboys & Poets at 14th and V Streets in Washington, D.C. on Monday evening to hear this consummate truth-teller make another compelling presentation to a packed audience.”

The book has been a best-seller at Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore and is available from our webstore.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Civil War to Civil Rights" A great new project of the National Park Service.

I was notified of this great National Park Service project this morning. I provide some links and comments following this notice.



The coming year, 2011, marks the 150th anniversary of president-elect Abraham Lincoln's inaugural train trip from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, DC and the presidency of a nation on the eve of civil war.

Inspired by that anniversary, the National Park Service invites high schools classes to join in a national digital project on the broader theme of inaugurations - new beginnings.

The National Park Service invites students to create short digital narratives on one of three themes:

* My area in 1861 - using maps, photos, illustrations, census
data, telling incidents from local newspapers, and (if available) national parks materials - students will create a portrait of where they live as it was just before Lincoln set off to Washington.
* A civil rights hero from my area one hundred years later, in
1961, -- by seeking out and interviewing a veteran of the struggle for equal rights, or finding existing oral histories, and/or maps, photos, illustrations, census data, and local news stories and national parks materials, students will tell the story of someone in their area who brought about change in the 1960s.
* The road ahead - students will define the changes they intend to
inaugurate in their adult lives.

Narratives will be gathered from schools throughout the nation and placed on a special National Park Service website. Participating students, their communities, and a broad national parks audience of all ages will then be able to use the site as window into key moments in our national life, as they were experienced locally, and as a virtual memorial for the momentous journey upon which President Lincoln embarked 150 years ago.

This project was developed by Dr. Marc Aronson ( ) in cooperation with Charles Forcey of Historicus, Inc. In the fall of 2010, the project team will provide a kit on the three themes, primary source samples and suggests, as well as links to Common Core Standards. Materials will be submitted through online forms; technical and editorial support will be available all along the way. A suite of digital resources taken from the National Park Service and Library of Congress sources will be available for all participating schools.

Evidently this is going to be a theme of the National Park Service's observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial as shown by this item.

If you search on Google for "Civil War to Civil Rights" you see that this is the theme of books and various activities large and small.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

James Loewen in Oklahoma & Richmond, VA; Update


James Loewen will be the awards banquet speaker at the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History in Oklahoma City, OK.

Friday, Sept. 24, 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

I think among other things the word about "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" will get out to historians across the nation.

UPDATE: The AASLH was a sellout for the "Reader." Additionally, some major contacts were made potentially opening up new venues for the book.


Also, James Loewen will be speaking in Richmond, Virginia on Oct. 7, 2010 at an event of the Richmond Diversity Network and the Virginia Commonwealth University. It will be 10:00 am to 3pm at St. Catherine's School. The topic is "Lies My Teacher Told Me and How to Do Better."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vermont Secession blogging again

Vermont Secession, which had been on hiatus, is blogging again. The neo-Confederates are evidently at it again in Vermont, so he has taken up blogging again to expose their nonsense.

The blog is at:

Addendum: Actually the Vermont 2nd Republic people would be more accurately described as neo-Confederates, reactionaries of various types who write for Chronicles magazine or are reactionaries written about in Chronicles magazine, or other miscellaneous reactionaries who have written for Southern Partisan.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Fighting Neo-Confederacy" on

James Loewen was interviewed on WPFW, Pacific Station, in Washington D.C. for show, "What's At Stake."

The website has a notice here about the interview with a link to the interview.

James Loewen's schedule of appearances is at this blog post:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Republican Party party photos that nearly leave you speechless

It has been reported that at a board meeting of the National Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors in Charleston, South Carolina there was a social event called "A Southern Experience." The South Carolina State Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell was in a Confederate uniform at the event. However, what has gotten the Internet buzzing is the photos of McConnell with two African Americans with rustic costumes. It has become a story on Gawker also.

You really need to look at the photos here:

The story is here:

And the other photos here:

These are the photos of particular interest.

Monday, September 13, 2010

James Loewen on "Culture Shock" a media production of

You can listen to James W. Loewen on "Culture Shock," a media production of American United, being interviewed by Barry Lynn, about the book, "A Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader."

You can read about them at:

Jack Kershaw, Segregationist, eulogized by League of the South

Jack Kershaw is eulogized by the League of the South (LoS) here:

However, they "forgot" a few details. Jack Kershaw was a major figure in the Tennessee Federation for Constitutional Government which campaigned for segregation in Tennessee attempting to reverse Brown vs. Brown.

The book, "Where No Flag Flies," a biography by Southern Partisan writer Mark Royden Winchell, about Donald Davidson details both Davidson's and Kershaw's activities against integration.

This article will tell you something about Kershaw during the Civil Rights Era, schools being blown up and Jack Kershaw in Clinton, Tennessee working with extremists.

Kershaw's "notable" sculpture can be seen here. Look at the 2nd picture down. The statue is made of resin, but a merry-go-round isn't missing a pony.

Oddly enough, the fact that Jack Kershaw was James Earl Ray Jr.s' lawyer isn't brought up, one of Kershaw's most notable roles. Everyone deserves a lawyer, so I don't count that against Kershaw, but it seems the LoS has sanitized Kershaw's biography to be "politically correct," a phrase they are so fond of using. [James Earl Ray Jr. assassinated Martin Luther King.]

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Friday, September 10, 2010

James Loewen Radio Schedule for the "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader," 18 radio engagements in two months.

This is the complete Radio Schedule for interviews with James Loewen about our new book, "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader." These speaking engagements are all over the nation, many in major cities, some are syndicated. Radio stations often now days broadcast online in real time, and often have shows stored online.

1. Sunday, Sept 12, 8:30 a.m. ET

1/2 hr. taped interview
WFNY “The WFNY Free Forum”; NYC

2. Sun. Sept 12, 10:30 a.m. ET

30-40 min live interview
“Radio with a View” - WMBR
Cambridge, MA

3. Mon. Sept 13, 11 a.m. ET

20 min. live phone interview
WASN “The Louie Free Show”
Youngstown, OH and the web

4. Mon. Sept 13, 2:00 p.m. ET

40 min taped interview
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State "Culture Shocks"
- syndicated to 6 stations

5. Mon. Sept 13, 3:20 p.m. ET

30 min. taped interview
“Issues & Ideas”
KCBX - FM, (NPR) San Luis Obispo

6. Mon. Sept 13, 4:00 pm ET

25-30 min. taped phone interview
KSFR "Santa Fe Radio Cafe"
Santa Fe, Santa Fe Public Radio,
Airs in the entire State of New Mexico

7. Tues. September 14, 9:10 a.m. ET

20 min. live interview
The 8:00 Buzz – WORT-FM
Madison, WI

8. Tues. September 14, 10:00 a.m. ET

20-30 min. taped phone interview
KVON-AM, “Late Mornings” Napa, CA

9. Tues. Sept 14, Noon ET

12-20 min. taped interview
WTIP-FM, Grand Marais, Minnesota

10. Thurs. Sept 16, 8:00 p.m. ET

30-40 min. live interview
KPFT “The Progressive Forum”
Houston, TX (Pacifica)

11. Mon. Sept 20, 8:40 AM ET

10 min. live interview
WCBQ--Oxford, NC; WHNC--Henderson, NC

12. Mon, Sept. 20, 10:30 a.m. ET

15 min. live interview
KPOJ “The Morning Show w/ Carl Wolfson
Portland OR

13. Mon., Sept. 20, 4:00 pm ET

50 min. live phone interview
WBAI "Talk Back"
New York, NY

14. Tues. Sept 28, 3:00 p.m. ET

30 min. taped interview
“Open Mind”
Michigan Public Radio (NPR)

15. Tues. Sept 28, 7 p.m. ET

20 min taped phone interview
Beneath the Surface – KPFK, N. Hollywood

16. Wed. Sept 29, 10:30 a.m. ET

10 min. taped phone interview
KAXE (100,000 watt NPR affiliate)
Grand Rapids, MN

17. Friday Oct. 1, 3:00 p.m. ET

45 min live phone interview w/breaks
Civil War Talk Radio

18. Wed. Oct 20, 11 a.m. ET

20-25 min. taped interview
Voices of Our World
Nationally syndicated to over 100 stations
(programming run by the Maryknoll, progressive religious community)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Uprising Radio Program with James Loewen discussing "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" is online

The web page for the interview with James Loewen about the book "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" is:

And you can listen to the interview at this link:

From the web page:

"Ask Americans about why Southern states ceded in 1861 to form the Confederate States of America, and chances are, they will describe it as a battle over states’ rights. That’s what author and historian James Loewen has found in his travels across the country. But in delving into the actual documents of the time, Loewen shows that the cessation of 11 Southern states centered on the institution of slavery. In his new book The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” About the “Lost Cause,” Loewen sets the historical record straight about a time in American history that is often invoked by conservatives today. Nearly 150 years after the Civil War he makes the definitive case that cessation and the Confederacy were about preserving slavery and white supremacy. "

James Loewen on Pacifica Radio

James Loewen will be on Pacifica Radio right now.

Sorry about the very short notice.

He will be speaking on the "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader." The show is syndicated across the Pacifica network.

Jim tells me that he is doing two radio shows per day, so we are getting the word out.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Treaty of Paris, getting it right

Neo-Confederates like to quote Article 1 of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 in odd ways.

This is the actual text.

Article I

His Britannic Majesty, acknowledges the said United States, viz. New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent States; that he treats them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof.

You can read it online as it was printed in the Statues-at-Large here at and go to the Statues at Large, Vol. 8, page 80. On page 81 is Article 1.

First note that it is "independent States," and that "States" is capitalized. It is a proper noun and is not referring to states in general. "States" is short for United States. If you take the viz. clause out, the sentence is:

His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States to be free, sovereign and independent [United] States; ....

The treaty is saying the United States is an independent [United] States. "States" is short for United States. The viz. is just explaining of which former colonies these States are. It wouldn't do to have the United States be declared independent while his Britannic majesty was still claiming one of the former colonies.

Neo-Confederates sometimes like to have the Article 1 in capital letters so that the meaning of the text is obscured or have "States" with a lower case "s" to obscure its meaning.

Article 1 is merely saying, the United States is independent and making sure that all the former colonies are included.

Finally, when does the King of Britain define what American government would be, or a peace treaty with a formerly hostile power define what American government is? What the King of Britain thinks American government is or is not is irrelevant. That is what independence was all about. The first constitution of the United States was The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

It the intention was that each state was an independent sovereign state individually, the word "each" would be used and "States" not capitalized.

The rest of the treaty implies that it is one sovereign nation involved. For example, the boundary described in the treaty is for the United States as a whole, and the boundaries of the individual states are not described.

The mind of neo-Confederacy is constantly straining to grasp straws. When they are contradicted they resort to name calling.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

James Loewen will speak at book store Busboys and Poets Sept. 20th

James Loewen will speak on the book "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" at Busboys and Poets, Sept. 20th, at 6:30 pm, at their 14th and V location in Washington, D.C.

The web page for the bookstore is at:

I plan to blog a notice for each speaking engagement by James Loewen concerning the book.
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