Today we welcome another great year-end roundup of Civil War history-related events compiled by Glenn David Brasher, author of The Peninsula Campaign and the Necessity of Emancipation: African Americans and the Fight for Freedom.
A year’s end always brings multiple “Top Ten” lists. The community of Civil War enthusiasts often create lists of the best books. Last year for fun, I humbly offered my own ranking, which was not limited to books. Because of positive feedback, I’ve decided to do it again! Here in carefully considered descending order is my second annual top ten list of “events” in Civil War history.
10. 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture
Unfortunately, the so-called “Lost Cause” still lingers in our culture (an informal poll of my college students this semester revealed that 60 percent were taught some form of it in high school). Scholars have long abandoned the Cause’s major tenets (slavery was a benign institution that would have died without war, defense of slavery was not a fundamental motivator for secession, etc.), but sadly, the academic community’s influence is limited. Fortunately, however, in March 2014 the Lost Cause received a high-profile blow when director Steve McQueen’s brilliant 12 Years A Slave won the Academy Award for best picture. The win increases the cultural impact of a film that lays waste the “moonlight and magnolias” image of the antebellum South. keep reading →