Levin, first I get home at 7:15 pm my time (MST), I teach at a public school and then volunteer after school for various things. I teach all day, not a lot of breaks. I don’t have a lot of time to check my blog and make sure I update you or anyone else.
Also, I seem to recall all of us referring to first names, you included when you attack Dimitri or Richard for things you don’t agree with?! Are you saying for you
I have to address you by your last name when I challenge you?
But most importantly, I never received your claimed response. I have always posted responses, always! Whatever.
Anyway, the post you jumped on was a follow up to my earlier post here. And this was one of several posts by you that caught my eye concerning your views on where Civil War history should or is going, and indeed “American Exceptionalism” as drawn out and tired thing. You write, “I say this as someone who has presented talks in front of at least 15 different Roundtables. Let me explain. While I enjoy the interaction with the audience, it is difficult to present interpretations that conflict with a very traditional view of the war. It is difficult to talk about the role of race in the war or even to emphasize the importance of slavery in understanding the cause of the war.”
Why is it difficult, well you tell us, “The other problem is that most attendees want to hear the same drawn out and tired stories about the major battles and the central characters of the war.” Drawn out and tired. Your point? Those books sell, you know this?
So indeed Levin, you are bemoaning the ole “traditional” approach that focuses on the big and “major” players of history, missing that those are the books that sell. Dare I say that these “traditional” approaches are, well, promoters of American Exceptionalism. That’s my point, Levin.
You also wrote, “I recently presented a talk on my ongoing research related to the way Confederate veterans and other southern whites remembered the presence of United States Colored Troops at the battle of the Crater and was shocked to find people actually walking out in disgust. They didn’t stick around to question my sources or interpretation.”
They walked out in “disgust.” Ok, we will assume that you’re a mind reader and knew this. Perhaps they wanted to hear something “traditional” and nothing more.