Chillin' with the Tattooed Historian

I recently had the distinct pleasure to appear on John Heckman’s podcast: The Tattooed Historian Show. We had a great talk about traditional v. non-traditional paths in academia, Twitter and other social media platforms, living history, and ways to reach more people who love the discipline

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A Comprehensive Curriculum Guide for The War Outside My Window

The questions and other activities in this comprehensive guide are challenging to be sure, but what better way is there to teach the Civil War than by challenging students to think about perspective and to negotiate some of the more uncomfortable issues with primary sources?

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Kevin Levin Challenges a Persistent Myth

Levin traces the history of the black Confederate myth that winds down a Lost Cause path to the late-19th century and the faithful slave narrative. Monuments to faithful “servants” (a popular euphemism for slave) and black Confederate “mascots” in Rebel gray at reunions populate the early story - and Levin deftly explains their presence and usefulness to the postwar construction of the Lost Cause myth.

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What's New for the Henry A. Allen Letters...

What I find particularly unique here in the world of edited collections of Civil War letter (there are tons available) is that since this is a digital project, I can add new information when it becomes available, provide recommended readings for all the latest studies as they are published, and revise when necessary.

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The Human Experience on the Battlefield

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 175,000 men fought at Gettysburg. We got to know 24. I had them write reflections on their experiences when we returned to the classroom - and they unanimously agreed that these personal connections helped them engage the history in ways that they had never considered…beyond the books - beyond the maps.

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What We Can Learn from Historical Artifacts

…historical artifacts help us understand nuance and complexity. They help us see history through the eyes of individual historical actors. They help us understand perspective and motivation. In short…I find it profoundly instructive to - from time to time - step away from written texts and lectures (though I love to hear myself talk) to focus on individuals and material culture.

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Engaging the Human Experience at Gettysburg

This year I am dialing up the human element. The plan: each student will be assigned a specific soldier with some accompanying background about that person’s life: where they were from, what they did in the civilian world, their family…whatever personal information is available (they’ll get a trading card and everything).

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Jeffry Wert Finds Victory Behind the Lines in Civil War Barons

Jeffry Wert’s Isoroku Yamamoto-esque “sleeping giant” metaphor certainly works, but only because he couples it with a review of the individuals who had the determination and the foresight to use what they had before them.

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Emancipating Lincoln - Holzer Hits the Mark

Holzer’s analysis illustrates Lincoln’s political cunning, intentional obfuscation, and deliberate planting of information in order to finesse the notion of emancipation for an uneasy citizenry. Emancipating Lincoln offers some surprising conclusions, suggesting that Lincoln’s image as emancipator was longer coming than we might have previously imagined. 

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The War Outside My Window - A Review

Readers interested in the war narrative as understood through the mind of a young man behind the lines will find Janet Elizabeth Croon’s editing accomplishments worthy of celebration. Her exhaustive work helps the reader negotiate the many obstacles that emerge from Gresham’s pen as fact, rumor, and pure misinformation.

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