Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History

Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History


In the updated edition of his sweeping narrative on southern history, David Goldfield brings this extensive study into the present with a timely assessment of the unresolved issues surrounding the Civil War's sesquicentennial commemoration. Traversing a hundred and fifty years of memory, Goldfield confronts the remnants of the American Civil War that survive in the hearts of many of the South's residents and in the national news headlines of battle flags, racial injustice, and religious conflicts. Goldfield candidly discusses how and why white southern men fashioned the myths of the Lost Cause and Redemption out of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and how they shaped a religion to canonize the heroes and deify the events of those fateful years. He also recounts how groups of blacks and white women eventually crafted a different, more inclusive version of southern history and how that new vision competed with more traditional perspectives. The battle for southern history, and for the South, continues—in museums, public spaces, books, state legislatures, and the minds of southerners. Given the region's growing economic power and political influence, understanding this war takes on national significance. Through an analysis of ideas of history and memory, religion, race, and gender, Still Fighting the Civil War provides us with a better understanding of the South and one another.

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