The need to lay aside animosities for dead men

Posted on February 26, 2008 by

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While I clearly have grievances with the way some people like to distort history for modern agendas, I think that there should be a cut-off point between being aggravated with people today and bashing people of yesterday. To some degree, it reminds me of modern political campaigns where mudslinging runs rampant in an effort to show flaws in the opposing Abraham Lincoln with his son Tadcandidate, just to advance the agendas and policies of the other candidate. However, in the case of historical reflection, it’s a matter of one set of people trying to tear down the heroes of another group of people. Personally, I think little of those who denigrate Lee with son Custis (left) and aide Walter H. Taylor (right).one heritage in order to promote credibility for another. I think that many are well aware of Dilorenzo’s Lincoln-bashing book (I’m not going to give an ounce of merit to it by making a link to it and hesitated at even naming it here), but we should also be well aware of those who bash the character of people like Robert E. Lee. If a heritage group takes up a Lincoln-bashing book, to what purpose does that serve? For that matter, when someone calls Lee a traitor, what is the purpose behind that? How will either advance us as a people or improve our overall understanding of history? Are there not agendas behind both? I think from the perspective of an historian, it does nothing but diminish what I see as the art-form of historical studies.

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