Saturday, July 02, 2005

"The Homer of the Old South"

Though I just posted about the death of Shelby Foote, I just now came across his obituary in Slate. Very well done, and my favorite quote in it comes not from Foote but from Edmund Wilson and his book Patriotic Gore. It sums up well my initial impression after watching Ken Burns' The Civil War for the very first time:
The period of the American Civil War was not one in which belles letters flourished but it did produce a remarkable literature which mostly consists of speeches and pamphlets, private letters and diaries, personal memoirs and journalistic reports. Has there ever been another historical crisis of the magnitude of 1861-65 in which so many people were so articulate?

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