7:30 a.m. May 22, 2013

The War Nerd: The Diary of Adam Gurowski

Every real American is a Civil War fan, and that’s the problem. It’s an all-American enterprise, our last domestic industry, a guaranteed domestic market. And just like Detroit, Civil War histories have gotten fat, sentimental and sloppy. We read historians like McPherson and Bruce Catton, Lincoln worshippers like Sandburg, and we end up thinking that the war was some kind of grand, necessary tragedy.

What we need is a good foreign slap in the national face.

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