Re: REL - Q1

Becky Lindroos

No, I didn’t nominate it because I’d never heard of it or the author, but I did vote for it.

My background is solid Yankee - Minnesota for most of my early school and California for high school stuff and later although the region I where lived in California was “of” the South (complicated history). Still, after I read Gone With the Wind I was drawn to that idea of the myth and the Lost Cause. There’s something so beautiful and romantic about it.

In school we were told that many slaves preferred slavery because of the security and they loved their masters. We were told slaves weren’t mistreated that badly because you wouldn’t do that to a valuable piece of equipment. (I didn’t hear anything about sex on the plantation until after high school.) We learned the terms carpet baggers and scalawags but later found out those were the terms the Southerners gave to the Northerners who went down south to help.

We also learned that the North pretty much demolished the South economically and the loss was felt well into the 1960s. We learned that the North treated the South much, much worse than we treated any other defeated enemy. This was in the days when we were still giving a lot of money to Europe and Japan for economic recovery from WWII so by comparison I don’t know.

I learned later that the authors of much of the text book material used by all the states was written by Southerners who studied at Columbia. I learned that the US bent over backwards to accept the South and its ways in order to make nice again - to rejoin. The North used the idea of States Rights to just overlook the Jim Crow laws of the South (even when compared to South Africa’s apartheid).

For a long time the Civil War was my least favorite part of US history, but I knew the war was about slavery. I questioned that in my early college days but later I was convinced again.


On Jul 1, 2021, at 7:27 AM, Becky Lindroos <> wrote:

1. If you nominated or voted for this book, what were your reasons? So far as you’ve got, does it live up to your expectations? Why or why not?

This book deals with the myth of Robert E. Lee and the myth of the South, the Lost Cause. What’s your background in that - most of us went to school in the US, but your understanding might be different if you were raised and educated in South Carolina than if you were in New Hampshire for all that. And experience with the issues outside the US might be completely different. How was it for you? Is this sensitive material for you? (I think maybe it is to a certain extent for at least most of us.)


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