The Tipsy Historian on Stonewall Jackson

Posted on November 3, 2008 by

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Mark at The Tipsy Historian blog has an interesting post about Stonewall Jackson. In terms of how hero-worship can impact historical analysis, he makes some excellent points.

He also leaves us with a good deal to think about. Think of this… Jackson, Grant, Lee, Longstreet, Chamberlain, Lincoln, etc., they each achieved great things in history, but they were imperfect, just like us. Admire, appreciate, respect, but when trying to understand the people, be realistic. If we see nothing more than perfection in historical figures, the myths that arise from this saint-like status do nothing to help us understand. If anything, it impairs our ability to understand. On the other hand, knowing and accepting the “not so good” with the “great” is essential in understanding, and the result of this does not mean that we can no longer admire, appreciate, respect, and even emulate that which was positive in the popular personalities from history.

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