Skip to main content

tv   In Depth Allen Guelzo  CSPAN  January 17, 2022 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

2:00 pm
nonfiction books and authors. funding comes from these television companies and more including charter communications. >> .. let's begin our conversation today with your latest book, robert e lee, a life.
2:01 pm
who was he before the civil war? >> robert e lee was best known for two things. one was the fact that he was the son of a famous revolutionary war hero, that was the famed calvary commander, harry lee. he served under washington and pointed that wonderful first in war, first in peace,, that was light horse harry. the other things people would have known him for what be his service on the mexican border especially on the staff of general scott, scott's fabulous amphibious invasion moving inland in mexico city in 47. lee served in many respects as scott eyes and ears performing feats of reconnaissance for
2:02 pm
scott so much for "afterwards" scott made the confession that for all the honors he had one in that campaign in mexico city almost all the credit formed to robert e lee so those would have been with robert e lee to be noted for before thehe civil war which taken together don't really do a whole lot to explain what we know about robert delete once the civil war begins. >> we will get into the end minute but henry harry the was not necessarily a good father, is that correct? [laughter] >> he was a splendid calvary commander especially whitehorse carrying out raids doing all kinds of small jobs, he was very good at that but as soon as the revolution was over and he moved back into civilianin life, everything went bad to worse.
2:03 pm
he made investments in western virginia land that was the equivalent of buying ski resorts in bangladesh. they all went, they bankrupted him. he also chose the wrong politics of virginia. virginia was the bridging of thomas jefferson. henry lee was a federalist in 1813 he was beaten within inches of his life bio pro jeffersonian mob and taking both of those things together light horse harry thought it was more propitious for him so he left and went to the west indies. he left when his son robert was six years old. robert never saw him again and i think that's actually a major
2:04 pm
traumatic moment in the life of robert e lee that stays with him the rest of his days. >> the other thing i wanted to mention from your first answer was, you write i an robert e lee and life that discovered a sense of shame having been part of the mexican-american war. >> yes. for many americans who were part of the mexican war especially the invasion from veracruz to mexico city, the experience they had stayed with them all their lives, you can read many memoirs especially civil war generals during that war who reflected back on it and remembered mexico's past enchanting beauty, something someplace they always wanted to revisit it alongside was a sense of embarrassment the
2:05 pm
war had taken place at all. for one thing in the 19th century, republics were not supposed to make war on w republics. republics in some sense were supposed to make war at all, they might bite them but fights defensively against aggressive ventures from czars and kings and whatnot. the american public going to war with mexican beating up on it was a source of disconnect for many of these young americans and the longer they serve in the war the more the disconnect weight upon them and robert e lee what come to the conclusion i am ashamed of what was done, ashamed of this war. deliberately took advantage and he isn't the only one either. you can find the same name developed in grants and memoirs so these two men who will in
2:06 pm
time almost become young and young of civil war had a similar experience in their service in mexico, the united states had done thehe wrong thing invading mexico, a larger stronger power beating up on a smaller weaker one which should have been encouraging instead of making the object of war. >> he said he served under general scott during that war. it wasie his role? >> by the time the civil war breaks out, scott is really too old to take active command in the field. general in w chief united states army, he's really in no shape at his age to have taken direction of the war. he sketched out a large-scale strategic plan sometimes known
2:07 pm
as the anaconda plan for how to work with it b but he understood he was past time take active participation in the field. to that end the person he wanted to recommend as a person who should be the field commander, the armies that would suppress this secessionist rebellion was robert easley. scott never forgot the service robert e lee tended him during the mexican war and in the years between that war and the civil warf, scott developed something of a surrogate mother figure for robert lee. he assists in promoting members of the family, one is his son, a difficult position in the army. largely because of this. there's a close relationship but
2:08 pm
nothing more disappointing than when we came to visit him in april of 1861 to tell him he was going to turn down the offer of command and he would resign the commission in the united states army. it was said winfield scott is sofa t weeping saying i never wt to hear the name of robert easley again. it gives you the sense first about the relationship between the two. second, the disappointment scott experienced when he decided not to take up the command. >> was robert e leen well known in the general public prior to the civil war because of his
2:09 pm
life? was there a will he, won't he back-and-forth regarding going to the confederate? >> to a minor degree. he was not someone who enjoyed the public light. he did his best to stay out of newspapers, stay out of problems of people writing social matters. he himself would only venture public view very, very reluctantly. something he has no taste for. about lee, he struck them as very aloof, distant sort. there's a famous passage in the diary of mary chestnut, one of the great diaries of the civil war era. she met lee for the first time
2:10 pm
before the war after white springs and western virginia, she met lee there because that's where he took his wife. plagued by white arthritis in hot springs were away of giving relief by rheumatoid arthritis. mary met them there. she said this man on a beautiful horse came from a self distinguished and she found out "afterwards", this is robert easley she said. everything about him perfection, no fault to be found in the man even a few hundred for one. l he didn't necessarily admire thought, she liked older brother, sidney smith leave because smith lee was
2:11 pm
companionable, fine man about town's but not robert. chestnut said can anybody say they know his brother? i doubt it. he looks old and quiet and grand that was the image robert lee chose to cultivate through his life. he did not like being in the public layer and for that reason any discussion in place about the possibilities of robert e lee's choice tends to occur only in his immediate environment where he's living in alexandria and arlington and across the river from washington d.c. and a few other places. it's not a matter of national discussion or attention and largely because robert easley doesn't want national discussion or attention of himself. >> back in march you were quoted in the princeton quarterly say
2:12 pm
if we wish to imperil the american experiment, we can find you more sinister paths to that paraffin by forgetting, obscuring or demeaning who we were. i bring this up now with the memorials with robert e lee removedre and confederate memorials taken down, was not a mistake in your view? >> there's no easy answer that and i have to confess from my own heart that this question of robert easley, i've seen statues of robert e lee and others taken down on the one hand as a pennsylvania person i tell people i'm a yankee from yankee men, the most unlikable. as such, i cannot fathom why you
2:13 pm
put up matches to people who committed treason. we don't have any statues, at least none that i'm aware of on the revolutionary war battlefield general how or cornwallis, we just don't have them in 1776 we tore down a statute of george the third in manhattan so there's a certain sense in which i can't measure why do that. people like robert e lee raised her hand against the nation, they sworn an oath to uphold. my father was a career united states army officer, he took that oath. my son is an officer in the u.s. army, he took that oath. even when i joined the national council for the humanities in 2006, i took the oath so it's not something i'm saying lightly
2:14 pm
and there's noo help by the fact that when does make his decision to try for confederacy, what he's doing is fighting for a cause wrapped around defense of human slavery and trafficking. on the one hand, why should i feel anything except the sense of empathy for the removal of relics like that that really shouldn't be in any place but a museum? if somebody says resurrection a statute of robert e lee, i would tell them as politely as i could to get lost. but that really hasn't been the whole story because what we've been talking about not just statues of robert e lee, wholesale toppings facing of statues across the country putting statues of france,
2:15 pm
statues of frederick douglas, abraham blinken, here in my own hometown of philadelphia someone naturally defaced a statue of prominent abolitionist. what i thought they were doing i don't know but soo much of this seemed to be an act of irrational impulse. when i see the overall picture of the removal and toppling of statues this way i begin to see how much of it is done by irrational impulse when i start to have hesitations and that's when i have anxiety that we are doing something a little less considerate or logical than we think we are. back in 2017 when the charlottesville riot circled around a statue of robert e lee and charlottesville that was the
2:16 pm
moment when robert e lee almost became radioactive. at that time i sat down with a former student of mine john rudy, national park service officer, we worked up what we called a decision tree because how do you deal with monuments and statues? there are moments, on the one hand you can't say because the statue is there, that's not true. i remember 1956 hungarian revolutionaries fighting against the soviet, they turn on for statue of joseph stalin. in 2004 when american forces arrived in i baghdad, one of the first things that happened is tearing down off an enormous statue of saddam hussein i'm not by any means going to sit here and say i'm sorry we don't have
2:17 pm
a statute of joseph stalin and saddam hussein these days, i think we are b better to plan without. how do we arrive at decisions for people represented by statues that haven't been around for 150 years or 200 years or something like that? i think it has to be more of a process than i've seen in the latest ways of statute toppling and removers we develop the decision tree which basically says let's ask a series of questions. depending on answer the first question and remove to the second depending on the second, third and so forth. nothere's no guarantee in this decision tree, no guarantee a result. it's not intended to produce a certain result. it is intended to produce thought through this. we've looked at this logically. we prompted us inclusion as a
2:18 pm
result of a process not just impulse. if atmp the end of the process e decide statue to be removed been fine, at least we've done in the process. the thing i'm most concerned about in our understanding of history is when we respond purely to these memorials and onmonuments purely out of irrational impulses. that i think contains the real danger because not all of difference between that kind of irrational impulse. the behavior of the mob democracy societies strived with distance between and necessarily so. i would rather be on the side of
2:19 pm
caution or at least process. the result may be to remove statues but at least we would have gone through the process and i think the process is what is report. >> the first line in your book about robert e lee is how do you write the biography of someone who commits treason? how do you guard against your own bias? >> i asked first of all, what does the constitution say about treason that is the constitution designed. on the one hand it's pretty straightforward, the constitution sayst consists of making war against the united states and giving aid and comfort to its enemies. i have some difficulty looking atoo robert e lee and four years worth of war against the united states, certainlyav gave aid and comfort to its enemies. simply on those terms alone i
2:20 pm
cannot avoid the conclusion yes, robert easley committed treason. some forsake you are saying that because you are a yankee. no, i'm saying it because i'm reading the constitution for what it actually says and i cannot avoid that conclusion. at the beginning, people to understand i'm not claiming to write a biography of robert e lee either to put a halo around his head or l a knife in his ba, i want to come to robert e lee frankly and soberly as i can and the first of the question is talking about treason. that poses the real challenge of writing this kind of biography not just about leave because how do you write the biography of someone who commits treason?
2:21 pm
in some sense, it's easy to write the biography of someone sleep admire, washington, blinken, a turtle but how do you deal with people whose lives are committed to things you find reprehensible? yet you can't not write about it. he can't simply pretend they are not there. how do you undertake the writing of what i call difficult biography? it's really what i set myself out as a task to do in writing about robert e conscious of the fact that difficult biography calls for as different set of understandings and different set of analytical tools and you might have in writing about blinken but you have to come to writing with a different set of understanding because his life is very different.
2:22 pm
>> allen is the author of 12 books. after appomattox, was there an outcry from public jail robert e lee? >> oh oh yes, yes, yes. especially after the assassination of abraham blinken. in the few days that transpired between lee's surrender of the northern virginia and blinken murder, there was a sense that the war is coming out down to the conclusion, we could be openhanded and then comes the blinken assassination and then it's like saying so this is what we get for being openhanded, for beingg generous. weg will deal now with these people the way they are asking us to deal with them. there is a terrific backlash against the confederate leadership against jefferson davis at that time was still on
2:23 pm
the land, he would not be apprehended until later all office is particularly directed at lee. the calls go up for something to go done about robert e lee especially the form of indictment for treason entered by the federal district court in norfolk virginia. it's there largely because it's one of the few places in virginia where there is a federal court operating about time the work was just include, there has been no federal court operating in most of virginia during the civil war, confederate ports yes but not federal courts. so this indictment comes from the federal court in norfolk. lee along with some 33 or 34 other better leaders is invited for treason. the assumption is that it will proceedng a trial.
2:24 pm
that's where the problem began to accrue. looked at initially in terms of the constitution definition of treason and we should have gone to a trial. there were some interesting wires in the way. one was the fact that in appomattox, this is grand, granted to lee and his entire north virginia, april, what does this mean? it meant literally how it's put them in front of those who surrendered appomattox are going to be troubled or bothered by the federal government provided they go to their homes and obey the laws. it's not entirely a get out of jail free card because you do violate the terms of the parole and restraints are on when grant
2:25 pm
gets wind of the fact that the new president andrew johnson and his attorney general james r20 with the idea of pursuing robert e lee for treason. grant feels his own work, his own honor is being called to question and he tells andrew johnson if you persist on this, i will resign as general of the army. well, that's a threat andrew johnson could not accommodate. he had to back down to the face about because no one stood higher in the estimate in that moment so that was one problem has off the idea of a trial. another problem is that all through the war, a lot of questions dealing with civil liberties handled by military
2:26 pm
might does this, sound familia? guantánamo bay, it should because the same logic governs most cases and at the end of the civil war. the chief justice of the united states supreme court case not by the idea that there was a federal jurisdiction to a a federal civilian jurisdiction in terms of the federal courts. the idea military tribunals operating inra virginia was he made it clear he refused to participate in any federal trial of robertt easley while there ws still military tribunals operating in virginia. since they werea operating, thee is another roadblock in the past of putting the on trial. there are a number of legal ways as well, i won't take everybody
2:27 pm
into the weeds unless you are a lawyer and want to go with me but at the end the conclusion was this is not going to be worth the political trouble that will generate so what we will do is enter a precise way, do not prosecute. in fact, in 1868 as andrew johnson was on his way out of the white house issues a blanket and the state that dispels the threat of a treason trial but technically, it was a real question seriously. lee is anxious that the trial may go forward and if it goes forward then you could be in serious danger until the ends, he begins to feel the crowd passes over his head but he
2:28 pm
takes it seriously and a lot of my old friend don't want to be, i am just seeing as a drag on them, they would be embarrassed to be seen. that weighed on him heavily. the trial doesn't actually happen, nonetheless it could have what the result has been from we don't know. >> did rant and lee have any relationship after the work with. >> no. in that immediate after flow of the appomattox surrender, he expressed a great deal of gratitude is latitude as time goes by, any relationship might
2:29 pm
have been forged between the two. grant invites lee through the white house in 1869 becoming president of the interview lasted only about 15 minutes. it's very polite, i don't want to say -- but is not well met. grant was hoping he could w enlt lee and please reputation in support of some of his initiatives and reconstruction but we showedd no enthusiasm so they never meet again and there is a process there, i don't think it could really be described in any other way. when people press leave in 1870 for his opinion as to who the greatest union general was that he faced during the war, police response is not granted.
2:30 pm
lee's response is couple. nothing about the civil war was surprising. i should say grant returned the favor years later when he was doing his rounds the world to her. the new york journalist john russell young accompanying him put a similar question two grant, who did he think was the confederate generals? his response was joseph e johnston which is even more surprising but you almost have the sense that grant was like all right, you're going to disrespect me? i'll disrespect you. so what couldre have been an interesting relationship between these opponents, never ever develops in that way and if anything, in 1868 and 69, we legs more to people who are on
2:31 pm
the sprint politically then otherwise. >> we could spend this entire few hours talking about robert e lee and his life and imaginations go into what we want to talk about your other books prior to robert easley's life, your previous book is reconstruction, history that came out in 2018. from that book, even the strongest measures taken by the u.s. government during both the war and w reconstruction were deployed less with a view toward subjugating to centralized authority and. reporter: edging them back into a federal government. the great losers in this process were seven blocks. >> yes, i said that in 2018 and
2:32 pm
haven't seen anything since. what we really hope a little too optimistically, more than a little optimistically, the world would teach lessons that would change political minds and the blood and treasure expended in eradication of slavery would open up the possibility not only for reunification of north and south as one nation but the constitution of the south itself in the image of the north, that did not happen. it didma not happen i think in large measure because we simply didn't know how to go about doing this thing called reconstruction. book you could go to a bookstore entitled reconstruction for dummies to give you a step-by-step process how to do this reconstruction.
2:33 pm
what you see instead is a series of improvisations, not terribly well thought out, some of them inspired too much by hope and a lot inspired by budgetary product congress so that is the first thing you see out of reconstruction. we did notuc know what it was we were doing. the second thing that emerges is in the fumbling, this is an opportunity for the southern leadership to once again sees political dominance of life in the south and as they do, they aim to t subjugate black southerners to something of the same status they enjoyed before the civil war.
2:34 pm
in other words, reconstitute a form of slavery without actually using the term. this reconstitution is what southerners in southern states to jim crow through the segregation to violence rising especially of 1898 wilmington, north carolina riot which is violent subjugation of black people in the south. we can only look back on that and say why didn't we take reconstruction more serious? rent looked back from his time after the presidency, grant looked back and said great mistake of reconstruction was that we did not impose military occupation and impose military occupation for sufficiently long
2:35 pm
time to raise up and educate an entirely new politicalp generation. we were too fast and in some cases too optimistic. in a lot of cases we didn't want to spend the time and money because military occupation of the south even at the height of reconstruction, united states military forces used on reconstruction duties in the south never amounted to more than 20000 troops. 20000 troops, we deployed 3 million unit soldiers during the civil war but what we put into the task of reconstruction sucks 20000 and that diminishes over time. we would have had to do something much more serious, much more along the lines of what we did after world war ii with the marshall plan and europe with the occupation of imperial japan we basically were
2:36 pm
constructed societies from the bottom up in a democratic image. we did not do that in 1865 to 77. i think as a country we paid and continue a serious price for that. we learned our lesson in 1945 and yet subsequent efforts at reconstruction have not shown the learning was entirely ppermanent. we still suffer from wanting to take militaryio actions or diplomatic actions and have them produce a quick response and we wash our hands and walk away don't pay more bills. perhaps we should have t thought before we got w involved in thee things that what would be required was more intensive,
2:37 pm
much more expensive and required more from our society than we mgive. that's something we have toed br in mind. the problem posed by reconstruction is an interesting lesson, sometimes called nationbuilding. in reconstruction, we did a pretty poor job of it for many people, especially black people have suffered as a result. >> allen, how was the south economically and socially in 1867? >> probably the impact of the war was worse than the great depression. there have been big sways of military destruction in various parts of the south. one thinks especially in this case of torture, although construction in georgia has been
2:38 pm
grossly exaggerated, sherman's memoir for gone with the wind, somehow they took a torch to everything that stood in the case but they were places to pay a high penalty if they go back and forth across them. one thing certainly west virginia so the south suffers economically by the loss of capitol invested into slavery by the loss of the capitol invested in farm implements and farm animals probably south office mounted to as high as in some estimates that i've seen, $13 billion. yet the south could have recovered much more quickly than
2:39 pm
if it had committed itself to trying to re-create the semi feudalism of the slave system. in a sense, the great punishment south suffers in reconstruction is not unit patient. unit occupation by contrast was minimal. the real er punishment south offensive as the south decides what it really wants is to walk away from industrial capitalism, walk away from the 19th century turns up the economy and return to what i had been before the work whichhi was semi- futie aquarian state and that will take another 80 years in the south to change. in a sense, the south became its own worst enemy in
2:40 pm
reconstructionst. >> allen, as you mentioned, you were born in yokohama, japan as an army officer and then a masters in divinity and priming in the history aspect, at what time in your life you find yourself vaccinated by this era? [laughter] i think i was always fascinated as one can be and be conscious i can remember when i was probably not more than five years old badgering my mother to buy a comic book version of the red badge of courage in the old classics illustrated serious and the red badge a of courage introduces about the civil war and that happened to have at the back scene page insert is a quick comic book history of the civil war. when i say comic book, we are
2:41 pm
thinking of superman and valley and all kinds of silly stuff. classics serious was a serious piece of work. this red badge of courage was serious piece of work and fascinated. it sent me to my grandmother who, as a young girl at the turn of the last century schools in philadelphia witnessed on decoration day, what they called memorial day, she witnessed old veterans of the grand army of republic mold unit, they would come to the schools like my grandmother's in school and they would talk about the real meaning of the civil war. for them, thef real meaning was not what the are trying to teach you, it was the end of slavery,
2:42 pm
preservation of the unit and that was the understanding of the war you might say i call on my grandmother's knee and i grew up with so in my case, i never grew up with robert e lee having an aura around had. many other writers about lee wrote as southerners, particularly here they wrote about lee as southerners, promotingof the lost cause and i grew up understanding the lost cause to be a mess and the real story of the civil war really belonged to blinken, emancipation and preservation of the union. i acquired that early early on and it stayed with me and as you can see, i am still talking about it. >> will show our viewers some of your blinken books here in a minute i wanted to welcome you
2:43 pm
to our in-depth program for january and civil war historian as our guests, who want to hear from you as well. you have a chance to talk with him and make comments and ask mushy, here's how. 200 is our. 748, 8201, if you live in austin and pacific time zone, you consent questions, text messages only. 2027488903. include your first name and your city if you want. you sent text question, you can contact us via social media booktv and twitter, instagram, facebook and etc. you can make the comments dial in, who will get to your callers in a few minutes.
2:44 pm
first book came out in 1989, edwards on the will of century of american theological debate. for the union of evangelical in 1994, then several blinken books abraham blinken redeemer president and 99, blinken's emancipation proclamation in zero four, blinken and douglas abraham blinken as a man of i guess 2009, blinken, a short introduction 2009 as well. then a look at the civil war and reconstruction, fighting followed by hattiesburg, the last invasion is how alan geiser looks at the book in. [two bells tolling] redeeming the great emancipator in 2016, reconstruction and concisee history came out in 209 and his most recent from a different view, robert e lee, a life. if we could, alan, let's go to
2:45 pm
the year of 1863 which kicked off with the emancipation proclamation, a tumultuous year in our nations history but i want to quote from your book redeeming the greatnc emancipat, the emancipation proclamation, delivered january 1, 1863 shirley the unhappiest of all of abraham blinken's great presidential paper. >> the word unhappiest is the one you focusus on, right? >> well, that was the one that jumped out to me. [laughter] >> that was a deliberate and provocative strategy on my part. i say unhappiest basically because while we walked the gettysburg address, people still memorized the gettysburg address.
2:46 pm
it is only 272 words after all. we adored the second inaugural especially the eloquent conclusions with malice, imperative for all, who can stick with the beauty and that? then we come to the emancipation proclamation, the first word puts us off because the first word is whereas. [laughter] whoever thought of beginning a great document, great state document with the word whereas? it sounds legalistic. it is legalistic. in fact, that is one of the problems people have of the emancipation proclamation. it is the language, it's very legal a and no one less than kal
2:47 pm
marx made the observation of the emancipation proclamation reads like a summons sent by one county courthouse lawyer to anotherr and it doesn't read tht way, it's very technical, very legal and people look at it and scratch their heads and say why? here's a man capable of writing the gettysburg address second inaugural, why when he comes to the greatest deed of his administration may be the single greatest of any american president does he suddenly drop back into professional legal language? led a number of people to draw the conclusion that he didn't really mean it. his heart wasn't really in it if his heart really had been in emancipation, he could have produced something equally eloquent as the gettysburg address or second inaugural in
2:48 pm
this is what led richard hofstadter and 48 to make memorable comments probably the comment most memorably attached to the emancipation proclamation that the proclamation had all of the grantor of the bill and in truth, it did. there is one reason why people stumble at the emancipation proclamation. it seemed so legalistic. where is the great eloquent? what is the absence of the eloquent mean? another reason people are unhappy with the emancipation proclamation is dated january 1, 1863. why didn't as soon as the civil war began, why didn't he pick up his pen and write emancipation proclamation in april 1861? what was he waiting for? why do we go from 61 to 63,
2:49 pm
nothing happens and suddenly 1863 site is going to issue the emancipation proclamation? people say aha, he really had another agenda than emancipation. he's trying to enlist the sympathy of the european nations. he was trying to evoke more response from the north in support of the work so close -- the emancipation proclamation isn't really a noble gesture at all, it's a work of political strategy. then there are others still hoop critique it because they don't believe he goes far enough. there's a whole section in the proclamation of reservations, exclusions. emancipation proclamation will free slaves in states in rebellion and then it goes on to explain that will include border states remaining
2:50 pm
oil, missouri, delaware, kentucky and maryland and won't touch slaves and places in virginia occupied by union military forces or louisiana, people look at this exception and say what is going on here? if he is going to free the slaves, freed thecr slaves but instead, it's a bill of exceptions and again people scratch their heads and think this can't be for real. this can't represent a tremendous moral gesture on the part of abraham blinken. voices of criticism have multiplied over the years to where yes, this is why i say the emancipation proclamation is his unhappiness document because so many scratch their heads and can't figure out what is going on in many cases, they draw to the worst possible conclusion. let me dispel that as quickly as
2:51 pm
i can. first, yes, the emancipation proclamation is legalistic. legalistic in ways that is part address is not you know why? the gettysburgre address is simy the dedication marks but we can proposed dedicating seminary at gettysburg. if you can't take thehe gettysbg address into the core of it do anything with it. when the state trooper pulled you over for exceeding the speed limit, you cannot quote the gettysburg address. emancipation proclamation is different. it changes the legal status of approximately 3 million human beings and if it sounds legalistic, it's because it's not legal work to do, is a document that can be taken into court and have affect. is it legalistic? gary legalistic. why? it has legal heavy lifting to
2:52 pm
do. why then at the same time is the emancipation proclamation full of exceptions largely because we can issues the emancipation proclamation as he says at the beginning on the strength of his role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the united states. he's exercising his war powers. you can't exercise war powers against border states loyal to the union, they were not at war with united states. they remain within the union, states that still legalized slavery but not at war with the union, his e war powers did not extend there. if blinken had emancipated slaves in let's say kentucky or maryland on the strength of the emancipation proclamation, you
2:53 pm
can be sure slave owners would have been in federal courthouse is demanding injunctions which they would have gotten, the injunctions would have gone into appeals in the appeals would eventually wind up with united states supreme court and who is the chief justice of the united states supreme court at that moment? roger brooke charlie, the author of the infamous scott decision. he would have made the emancipation proclamation of blinken's war powers. blinken could not afford, cannot challenge ine that the federal court systems so we rule off the four border states and occupied areas of virginia and is he trying to cheat on emancipation? no, protect emancipation from legal challenge that is not
2:54 pm
difficult to imagine emerging chief justice. so yes, it has this reputation, unhappy reputation, but there are serious reasons why it is what it is and when you understand the reason, you understand abrahamam lincoln's thinking and proposing. it is more shrewd and he's given credit for just at first reading. if the emancipation proclamation reads like a bill, it's a bill of lading for cargo of freedom headed, that kind of bill of lading we can rejoice and. >> we will come back to 1863 but our bromides are lit up and we want to hear from our viewers as well.
2:55 pm
jonathan in los angeles, good morning. >> good morning, professor are always fascinating and tells you my beloved rams are playing in about ten minutes so we are watching him until 11:00 our time. [laughter] i wanted to ask him, the review in his book said he'd written a revision as history and i am curious to have him explain, what is meant by religious history, every time a historian write something, it's provision is an i would love to hear thoughts on my. thank you for the program. >> do you remember what book that was? a new history of the civil war?
2:56 pm
>> no, a review of his book on generally. >> thank you, sir. >> well, in a sense jonathan already provided the answer i most likely to get, every time historian sits down and write history you are doing revision. no historian simply duplicates what's been said before. every historian comes with new ways of looking at things and questions you asked. in my case for instance, when i'm robert e lee, i am interested in lee as the great general of the civil war, great commander of the confederate armies in virginia. one could not be interested in the civil war and not pay attention to that. yet, i'll be the first to admit that's not what draws me to
2:57 pm
leave. what draws me is a variety of other considerations robert e lee was, for 30 years, almost 30 years of his career, an army engineer, an officer in the corps ofn engineers much of his career in the army was devoted to engineering projects. his first project out of west point was to lay the foundations for what is today in the savannah estuary, who was at the very beginning of, he was assigned fromss there to construction of what was originally for -- in the main ship channel of hampton roads. from there, assigned to st. louis and spent four years in st. louis working on rebuilding st. louis different. from there, hent goes to fort hamilton in new york and there
2:58 pm
he's chief engineer at that post on long island where today the bridgee crosses over to long island. fromm there, those to the mexicn war and then it's back to construction, building for carol in baltimore harbor. from there, superintendent i west point which was still very much in engineering school when he was the superintendent there so he spends his life as an engineer. i had to give myself think of a crash course in engineering to begin to understand this, especially the particular kind engineering we spent most of his time doing which is coastal engineering and that's a sub specialty within civil engineering itself so i wanted to understand lee as someone more than just four years as a confederate general, i wanted to
2:59 pm
understand 30 years he spent as a civil engineer. what drives me to that? fundamentallyve because i am trained as an intellectual historian. historian of ideas, of the way people think. i took my phd at the university of pennsylvania under two great intellectual historians, allen pours and. i approach lee with exactly that way of trying to understand. i want to understand how the man's mind works. oto that, i have to understand s profession from about of an engineer. that isn't it, that's a revision of robert e lee because not many other biographies of robert e lee spends a lot of time talking about his career in the army before the civil war. the form claims in the life of
3:00 pm
robert e lee, those 30 years don't even pick up the first volume. another famous biography of lee written by one b of freeman's accolades, in 500 pages, no more than about the first 30 pages, so by the fact that i am a historian of something other than military affairs, i am going to comeer at me for the different set of expectations and understanding. ...
3:01 pm
>> sometimes it's because you're dealing with new materials and one of the challenges of the light about robert e lee is unlike lincoln or grant, lee is a civil war figure whose papers and letters are not easily available in a printed, edited addition. if you want to write about abraham lincoln you've got the eight volumes edited by ray dazzler, the collected works of a lincoln or if you want to write about rant as ron ron shortell has you have to 27 volumes of the papers of ulysses s grant. they're there and easily available and beautifully edited. robert e lee is different. there is no standard edition of lee's letters and papers. that's a problem because lee was a compulsive letter writer. he wrote i would estimate somewhere between 6000 and me 8000 letters in his life . but they are not only a lot
3:02 pm
of them, they are scattered all over the place. little penny packets of papers here, leaf papers there. i have access to archives that run all the way from content more library in new york city to the huntington library and san marino in california. and at various points in between. even more maddening is how much lee material services on ebay and auction sites. there's a lot of lee letters and material that's still in private hands. there's no single addition of lee's works that makes life easier or a for a biographer. it also means you're liable to make some interesting discoveries which i did in the process of this. and sometimes when you're making interesting new discoveries,you're going to revise the conclusions that people have come to earlier . that makes you a revisionist.
3:03 pm
what are these new tools or new sources, every historian who sits down to work in a serious way is really performing revisionism. the only question is what kind of revisionism. is it revisionism that is done in a sloppy and careless fashion or is it revisionism which is done with care and with consideration? and i would like to believe i think i might like to believe that i am in the second category. that's my kind of revisionism . >> judy from sparta new jersey, you're on with historian alan guelzo. >> thank you and i'd liketo bring us back to the lost cause and the origins of the lost cause . i'm in the middle of your american mind , lesson 19. the failure of the genteel elite . and you mentioned books writtenby charles francis adams and henry adams . and that that their potential
3:04 pm
origin of the lost cause. and i waswondering if you could speakmore to that . thank you very much . >> judy, lost cause could be said to have sprung on april 9, 1865. at appomattox courthouse. this is when we issues his last general order to the army of northern virginia. which is sometimes knownas general orders number nine . and in that order, the army of northern virginia is told that you've fought the noble and honorable war egreater union numbers have overcome that nobility and compelled us to surrender. we have managed to do it with honor. we conducted ourselves with honor so now we can all go
3:05 pm
home and believe what we did was dhonorable. that becomes the root of this thing called the lost cause. the lost cause will sprout from there. to acquire a number of facets. one principal tenets of the lost cause is that the southern confederacy, the secession of the southern states was not about slavery. that's really what drove the confederates to secede from the union was a concern about states rights or a concern about tariffs or concerned about the northern economy and potential dictation by northern capitalism and so on and so forth. anything but slavery. so you find the writings of former confederates like richard taylor for instance in his memoir destruction and
3:06 pm
reconstruction. he will insist slavery had nothing to do with the confederacy. c that's simply a story cooked up by the abolitionists so that becomes the first tenant of the lost cause. another tenant of the lost cause isthat the confederacy didn't really lose the war. the confederacy was simply grounded down . by this superior weight of yankee capitalism. that attrition, not military skill for military genius simple raw barbarous attrition was what destroyed the south. the south in other words fought until there was no one left standing to fight. the north just had superior numbers that it could throw into the meatgrinder. that accounts for why the confederacy loses the war. it doesn't really lose the war, the war was unfair from the start almost as if you'd say one team fields 11players , the other team only fields three. guess who's going to win in that game?
3:07 pm
then thirdly the lostcause rests on the assumption that the confederates always behaved themselves with honor and nobility . when the yankees invade the south, they behave like vandals they behave like i tell of the han . they rob, they destroy, they rate, they kill but when lee's army lunches across the potomac into the north it behaves itself. all three of those are as phonyas a three dollar bill . and just to give you some illustrations of this, in that latter point, the southerners always behaved honorably when they invaded the north as opposed to what the north did to the south, for one thing the south doesn't invade the north all that much but when the army of northern virginia comes into pennsylvania in the summer of 1863, every record
3:08 pm
on the ground shows that the confederate army basically helped themselves to anything that wasn't nailed down. in other words they behave just like theyankees did which is to say they behave like most 19th-century armies . what gave this a particular edge was that the confederates rounded up something like 500free pennsylvania blacks . shackle them and sent them down to the richmond slave markets to be sold into ic slavery . that was a different kind of repossession shall we say. and that i think caused them serious doubt this whole question of we behaved honorably . there's not a whole lot of honor in capturing defenseless and innocent people and enslaving them. but let me take this back even to the whole question of general orders number nine
3:09 pm
and lee's involvement in them. lee himself does not actually draft general orders number nine. it's really composed of five lee's military secretary charles marshall. lee might have been a great letter writer when it came to personal correspondence but he detested official paperwork. and for most of the civil war he will allow marshall to draft his documents and make some corrections and lean over marshall's shoulderand he does that with general orders number nine . marshall drafts this and we know this because marshall himself says so in his memoirs. lee makes a couple of corrections, strikes on a few things like marshall said lee was afraid it would antagonize northerners. thand then let's the order go forward. when lee does actually sit down towrite a document this way , which is his final recourse ito jefferson davis, he tells a very different
3:10 pm
story . the story he tells in his final report to jefferson davis was about how the army of northern virginia seemed to have lost all sense of discipline and cohesion. strike, failed. how everything that held the armytogether seems to come apart.the army didn't seem to be interested in fighting anymore . these holding a lot of blame on the behavior of his own soldiers. that's very different from them the lost cause. but it's general orders number nine that promoters of the lost cause would refer to, not that final report of lee. why then do we find northerners like charles francis adams and henry adams appearing to support the lost cause and endorse it ? the cause for adams, both of the items brothers, the postwar north turned out to be a very different world than the one that they thought was going to happen.
3:11 pm
it was a very different world thanany previous atoms. these were adams's, these were one of the first families of the united states . they believed as elites that they deserve a certain measure of respect. and the postwar society with its energetic and embrace of expansion, of industrialism, showed no particular inclination to pay respect to great families from the past. and the items as turned to the lost cause almost as a tway of criticizing what they believe northern society had become. the lost eccause becomes a weapon for saying see how noble those southerners were in defeat? see how terrible we northerners are in victory? theirs was the complaint of an elite family that didn't feel that like ronnie dangerfield.
3:12 pm
they felt it had gotten no respect. and so they will use the lost cause. to tryto buttress their own claims to that kind of respect . not that they succeeded, not that they got it . but that was part of their strategy it is why you find the items brothers embracing the lost cause. not because they particularly loved the lost cause, charles francis tadams fought against it in a massachusetts resident but because it became a handy stick to beat their fellow disrespectful northernerswith . steve, laguna hills california. you're on with historian alan gelson . >> thank you, professor i so appreciate your appearances on c-span. you always have words of wisdom and you arethe voice of reason . my quickly this question i have is recently you were on
3:13 pm
c-span discussing your biography of lee and you discussed potential implications. pickett's charge being defeated and potentially leading to a settlement with the north and the balkanization of north america or the unitedstates . i know there's always a risk for historians to play the what if game but you had i thought very brilliant observations about the geopolitical impact that could have particularly with respect to world war i and world war ii ctand i thought it would be helpful for me and the audience to hear your review and perhaps expand on that again . i think it has profound implications for many of the discussions we're having today . >> steve, thanks for that. i start off by asking a particular question of people. what kind of world would we be looking at. if pickett's charge has succeeded or if lincoln had
3:14 pm
not been reelected in 1864. if the confederacy had achieved its independence . and as much as i dislike what if questions, i've encountered people who sometimes make a small career out of doing what if history and i always think there are so many contingent factors that go into the making of historical it's that asking what if all becomes a kind of fantasy. and people have fantasy leagues to football and for baseball. sometimes i think there are people who have fantasy leagues for history. on the other hand there is at least some limited consideration for the value of the what if question. if only because it lets us see what the possible alternatives might have been. and the possible alternatives are not necessarily good ones.
3:15 pm
sometimes people ask me what do you think the turning point of the civil war was, what was the most important moment of the civil war? what was the moment that won the civil war, what was the hinge of the civil war and i am's i surprised them when i tell them appomattox courthouse. what they're expecting they say is antietam or gettysburg or something like that. no, appomattox courthouse. then they think women,that's where the war ended . yes, i put my finger at that as a rhetorical gesture. but also partly to illustrate the fact that the american civil war could have ended very differently. through much of its duration and especially right up tothe reelection of abraham lincoln .
3:16 pm
if for instance, if lincoln had not been reelected, if george mcclellan had been elected 17th president of the united states . then it seems to me at least that there is no question but that if not mcclellan himself and certainly his party, would have moved as quickly as possible to open negotiations for the nconfederacy. and if those negotiations had begun, but 1864 nobody was going to go back. they had just been toomuch bloodshed. there was too much weariness, too much exhaustion . people in the north would not have elected mcclellan. because they anticipated an extended war beyond that. so had mcclellan been the elected there would have been negotiation and those negotiations would have ended in no other way. then with confederate independents. and if confederate independents had occurred,
3:17 pm
then a number of really unpleasant things would i think have very likely resulted. one is that the united states would have continued to dissolve into secessions cause once you have a successful secession there's no reason there couldn't be more. it would not be difficult to see the pacific coast -off into its own west coast. the northwestern states, i mean the great lakes era, the great lakes area hiving off itself into its own independent republic. leaving let's say pennsylvania, new york and new england as the united states. to become a kind of useless and balkanized tiny republic. what would have ensued between them all would have been trade wars because no
3:18 pm
longer with the united states being this gigantic creature. there would have been trade wars and it would have been better and i neighbor and the result would have been balkanization. and if there had been that kind of balkanization what would have been the result when we come to world war i and world war ii? where there had been no united states to intervene. the result of that, the result of that is not pleasant to contemplate. but that's only one possible result. another possible result of confederate independents as a result of negotiations would have been a rendition of fugitive slaves. during the course of the civil war, we estimate that somewhere between 200 and maybe at the upward .500 thousand southern slaves fled slavery and either found some
3:19 pm
kind of home in the north or found contraband camps as they were called or found it in the union uniforms. found fosome kind of refuge there. at the end of negotiations the confederacy i think almost certainly would have required rendition of those fugitives. which is a genuinely horrible thought, so horrible we almost thinkwe can't imagine that . really? if the price of peace, if the price of bringing home your father, your brother, your son was the rendition of those fugitives, i wonder how many white northerners would have walked away? my guess is not many. after all, we demanded rendition of fugitives at the end of the revolution and war of 18. i see no reason why there wouldn't have been a similar demand.
3:20 pm
it probably would not have been entirely successful but it wasn't entirely successful in the revolution or war of 1812. it doesn't mean the demand wouldn't have been made . so there's another unhappy product of a confederate victory. then there would be the confederacy itself. the confederacy would have seen its future lying in expansion. the creation of a slave empire not just in the confederate states themselves but in imperialist expansion into the caribbean. to cuba. to the other islands of the west indies. to central america. in the decade before the civil war that had been a variety of what we called filibustering expeditions. these were mercenary expeditions headed by and funded by americans to topple local governments in nicaragua, panama, places like that . there were almost led and financed by's someone else.
3:21 pm
in the postwar environment where the confederacy was independent, that kind of filibustering would have become foreign policy. and you would have seen the aggressive expansion of a confederate slave empire. in large part to the western hemisphere. these are not conclusions i think we can look at with any kind of ease or called. and yet i think that they are the answers that would come to him what if question. in the years after the civil war , a veteran of the union army oliver wendell holmes had been a lieutenant seriously wounded at antietam and sat on the tsupreme court as one of the most famous justices of the supreme court . sitting on the bench with him was a louisiana and who had briefly served in the confederate army .
3:22 pm
this was edward wright. every year on the anniversary of the battle of antietam, homes would present white with a red rose. whites response? my god, if we had one ? and i think that in that same stricken tone of voice is what we have to see as the answer to that what if. >> allen guelzo you had a longassociation with gettysburg college . you live in the area or have a intimate knowledge of the area. can you get a good sense of the battle they walking the battlefield? >> all the time. a battlefield that gettysburg is such a wonderful place to walk, to visit, to me and her. to analyze, to think about
3:23 pm
and sometimes of course the temptation to second-guess. that always comes. you'll wander around that marvelous battlefield and you come inmy mind anyway to that central location , the angle where pickett's charge smashed against the union defenses and you think this small plot of ground may be the most hollowed of hollowed ground. in the north american continent. it is a marvelous and memagical place to be in, to walk around in. i have never lost an interest, i've never lost. in walking around the battlefield that gettysburg . >>. >> host: bob, nashville tennessee and you're on with allen guelzo. >> caller: good afternoon. doctor guelzo, i teach
3:24 pm
history at tennessee state university in nashville and teach survey courses and i've seen and shown in class many times films that you are in, that you'vecommented in . and i point out to the students that this guy looks and sounds exactly like frasier crane. he is if kelsey grammar were doing a history professor he woulduse you as a model . like you i have a grandmother who i was born in 1953, she was 70 when i was born. she was born in 1883. and i, she used to tell me the stories she heard as a child how the yankees came and they buried their self so the yankees wouldn't steal it
3:25 pm
. that brings up something that you see as a theme in movies from gone with the wind to authority about the loading of the south and in fact in glory it makes it look like they are organized criminals and taking everything, not just food or whatever they need but of course stealing silver items or whatever. bold, whatever the plantation owners have. i've never seen anything written about that. i was wondering if you have any knowledge about the scale of that sort of thing. >> armies are armies and since the days of the babylonians and nebuchadnezzar, arteries descend upon the areas they are invading like locusts.
3:26 pm
and they simply eat up, take up, steel. that is what armies do. when an army comes intoyour neighborhood , all law is set aside. and this is one of the horrors of war. and i use the word horrors deliberately. i'm the son ofan army officer and the father of another army officer . i want to tell you frankly i have in my lifetime known many army officers. and the army officers who are most dedicated, the most serious about their calling are also the ones whom i can call the most sincere and dedicated pacifists. because they are the ones who really understand what war costs. they also understand war can never be entered into reluctantly because what will happen in the environment of war is never anything to be enjoyed.
3:27 pm
and when i see war become a species of entertainment, that's when i begin to have the uncomfortable feeling that there is such a thing as war pornography . so while i have written a great deal about the american civil war eaand about war itself i'm nota military historian . and approach the subject of war with a certain degree of hesitation and caution. knowing that the costs that it imposes on people are simply beyond definition. it's been said that war is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse along with famine and plague.yes, it is on that same level. so in the 19th century armies in our civil war misbehave,
3:28 pm
they are in some sense not doing anything different than armies have done from time in the more you and even have done in our own time. and though we are reluctant sometimes to admit it , even our own forces have in modern warfare misbehaved. that is one of the sad eventualities of war. that does not mean we put our hands together and say to touch, nothing we can do about it . it simply means let us always understand war is a great company. and that even when the result of war is victory, the price to be paid for it is always a great and terrible price. >> host: i'm sorry doctor
3:29 pm
guelzo. >> guest: i was going toadd this is the way i think we approached even our own civil war . let us do it remembering the sacrifices. remembering all that is lost in the cauldron of war and all that it costs because the costs are more serious than in almost every other kind of human endeavor. >> host: 748-8200 if you live in the east and central time zones and have a question for historian alan guelzo. 2801 for thoseof you in the mountain and pacific time zones and if you can't get through on the phone lines you can try a text message . 202 748 8903. at four text messages only. please include yourfirst name and your city . rich in orange california
3:30 pm
texting to you doctor guelzo. i enjoyed your link and reveal in the coffee-table life, lincoln and intimate portrait book. i'm currently reading lee : a life with its 36 page bibliography and 82 pages of notes. the acknowledgment sections include a mention of your use of four by six cards. is that t how you assembled and crafted the 434 pages of text ? >> easy answer to that, yes. i in fact have right beside me here a box. both four by six cards for the next project that i'm working on. so that in some ways i suppose is an old-fashioned way of collecting one's research. but it's one that i pitched into very early. and d have stayed with and i often say that i read when
3:31 pm
i'm in the middle of a project. i read, i note. accumulate these four by six cards, boxes of them and finally it's like water building up behind the dam that comes a moment when you just sense okay, we're there. and that's the moment when i compare myself to a mississippi river gambler. who spreads out all the cards and starts putting them in piles. here's this subject,here's this subject . and i sort them out that way and in some respects the sorting process itself is the beginning of writing . and when i sit down and write what i'm really doing is taking all the appropriate sorting cards and moving through them in the order that i have created. so that's my technique. a little old-fashioned i suppose but that has allowed me to accumulate tremendous amounts of resources this way.
3:32 pm
and i can go back to these cards over and over again. with that in view. perhaps the question is also why four by six, 103 by five? i can't get enough on a three by five cards. i need a four by six so the four by six has become my standard procedure and it's on the four by sixes that i record all of what i regard as the important material that i've been encountering as i work through it. >> how many four by sixcards for robert e lee: a life and where are they stored right now ? >> guest: there are three boxes of them that are stored in the back room behind me. you can't see it but they are there rkall marked robert e lee. they are there with the five boxes of four by six cards on gettysburg. another three boxes on lincoln's emancipation proclamation.
3:33 pm
i think you get the idea. there's a lot of boxes full of four by six cards. >> host: jim, please goahead with your question or comment . >>. >> caller: thank you for a wonderful discussion. just your thoughts please on the issue of reparations. especially because you are an expert on reconstruction . and what is the little medallion on your suit ? >> guest: the little thin is the james madison programs logo because i'm part of the james madison program at princeton university. it'sone of the hats i wear there.i do the initiative on politics and statesmanship for the james madison program . but yes. all right. that's the pin. >> host: that's based in princeton university. >> the initiative and james
3:34 pm
madison program itselfare all part of princeton university especially department of politics at princeton university . focusing on that , you're going to have to remind me of your first question . >> caller: reparations. >> naguest: reparations, thank you. the question of reparations usually comes upand i can almost clocked this. it comes up about every 15 years. and most recently it came up in an earticle written by nicole hannah jones in the wake of the 1619 project . and just before that by ta-nehisi coates. passionate though they are i have questions and hesitations here because on the one hand the payment of reparations is something that seems to be normal. we have in fact engaged in reparations payments for a number of groups which have suffered harms and wrongs at
3:35 pm
the hands of governments. i think particularly here of the german government dealing with the israeli government . i think in our dealings with those who were unjustly assigned to near concentration camps during world war ii. i'm thinking here of the japanese americans that were the reparations agreement there. reparations are in a sense part of the whole justice system of equity jurisprudence. so what about reparations as it is promoted by nicole hannah jones, by ta-nehisi coates and by a number of others running backover many years ? first of all, i think we have to work with the definition of what reparations we are talking about. are we talking about reparations for slavery or
3:36 pm
reparations for sequence segregation and discrimination? because those are two separatecategories . and sometimes i think that coats in particular once to raise them together and talk about them as one and i don't t think it's quite so easy if only because the harm that is done. the torch for instance if i can use legal language is an entirely different tort. so the first question i ask iswhat are we talking about ? do we want reparations for segregation or are we talking reparations for slavery? most often that question is about reparations for slavery and here's where westart to run into difficulties . reparations for slavery looks like we're playing 10 feet wide over a chasm and the plank is 10 feet long. it looks like it will work
3:37 pm
but you put weight on it and things start to fallaround. the first thing you want to ask is well, who ioshould be paying reparations ? here's where the question starts to get difficult. it should be the united government ? well, why because the united states government did not hold slaves. the united states government in fact did not pass slavery or enslavement legislation. the united states government hada fugitive slave law that was not the same thing as an enslavement statute . it was the states that had enslavement statutes. we sometimes forget this. slavery was a state-based matter . not a federalgovernment matter . so should the federal government be paying slavery reparations? here's a major question? how can it since it was never n'involved in the ordering of slaves. how about the states? maybe we should single out those states which were slaveowning states.
3:38 pm
let's single out alabama for instance as a slaveowning state and the state of alabama should pay reparations. okay, but elet's also remember that there were a number of other states that we don't think of as slave states which actually legalize lavery for far longer in alabama. alabama legalize slavery from the time it was the territory until the civil war so we're talking three, 60 years. my own home state, the commonwealth of pennsylvania legalize slavery from the time it was founded in 1683 all the way up into the 19th century. so if the state bears responsibility, then the state of pennsylvania should bear much more responsibility for paying reparations for slavery inalabama . which is soon and as i've said it does not seem to make a whole lot of common sense. didn't pennsylvania in fact
3:39 pm
fight to end slavery and alabama? didn't pennsylvania on its own merits move to emancipate and eliminate slavery? yes it did. but if we're just talking about the state basis for reparations then how can you evade the fact that pennsylvania actually has more guilt over time then alabama? and yet the oddity of that i think would jar many people. then you have a question of well, if you can't easily settle who is going to, what entityis going to pay reparations does it come down to individuals ? what about the descendents of slaveowners? should they pay reparations? one of the difficulties is that many slave owners, descendents of many slave owners today are in the same economic position n that there
3:40 pm
slaveowning forebears may have been. they may be drivers, are they going to be able to pay reparations in any meaningful way? the other thing connected is to whom do you pay reparations? obviously you think the answer should be the descendents of slaves. yes, well that will eliminate for instance some important segments of black america today. who are not the descendents of slaves. i think of someone like colin powell . colin powell is not the descendents of slaves. how then do we deal with large numbers of black people who o would be excluded from reparations settlement and is that fair? that then leads into a related problem and that is that in manycases , so many slaves were themselves the offspring of the slaveholders . among the many crying
3:41 pm
injustices of slavery was the fact that slavery was a system of sexual work and slaveowners rate and misused their female slaves and the offspring of it were multiracial or biracial. well, if you are the descendent of a slave, the irony is you may also be the descendent of a slaveholder. and in the studies that i've seen estimates that on average and this is an on average figure, genetically speaking black americans are anywhere between 20 and 25 percent white by descendent. and that this is surprising and shocking statistic is
3:42 pm
itself a testimony to the widespread sexualexploitation that occurred under slavery . if you are a descendent of both a slave and a slaveholder, to whom are you paying what? so there is a serious and critical problem there. how do you make that determination? i think the final problem that has to be confronted by reparations is what about the civil war? it is estimated that the civil war cost somewhere between 650 and 850,000, a meeting has been established more or less around the figure of 750,000but that's a mean . and statistically there are variations in that. of those civil war ready
3:43 pm
related deaths, something on the order of 330 to 350,000 lives were lost in the union cause.these were people who were fighting and dying to end slavery. and their lives are a price that we paid to end it which is something lincoln captured in his second inaugural when ow he talked of the price of the war. and how this war was a judgment that was inflicted on both north and south for its complicity on slavery and he said every drop of blood drawn by the lash is being paid for by a drop of blood drawn by the sword. what is the value of those lives? how do we compute the value of those lives that were sacrificed including the life of abraham lincoln himself.
3:44 pm
how do we compute the value of those lives and record it against the reparations? i don't know how to do that. but i also know that you can't not take that reckoning into your decision-making about reparations. if all that reparations is about is getting a check, then my concern is that we have forgotten about the civil war itself. and i have heard people say, i was at a reparations conference in columbia university where someone frankly stood up and said all i want to know is who's going to write me a check. if that is the only consideration, then we have forgotten about the civil war and the lives black and white that were lost in that war. to eliminate slavery so i ask what is the reckoning for that as well? these are questions which do
3:45 pm
not have easy answers but these are the questions i think which have to be asked if what we're eventually algoing to come up with our honest answers . >> we're talking with alan guelzo on tv. david, you are on. >> good afternoon professor. i am a native pennsylvanian. i am born and raised in chambersburg, a graduate of virginia military institute . i happen to have married a young lady whose great-grandfather was in the army who burned my hometown down so as you can well imagine i have some mixed feelings about the rebellion. however, tthere's some questions that have been bothering me over these years and i'll just share them with you. my first one was with james buchanan, a homosexual?
3:46 pm
was secretary stands in a necrophiliac? i'm not asking you the answer to those questions but i do have a question that i would like you to address. and that's related to the election of 1864. did lincoln run as a third-party candidate and if not, was andrewjohnson a true third-partypresident ? thank you . >> guest: my answer to that is going to be a classic. yes and number the reason i'll put it that way is in 1864, lincoln is facing a reelection which has some serious odds against it. the war has now been going on for three years andespecially by the summer of 1863 , 64, what has he got to show for it?
3:47 pm
the confederacy is still fighting. lee is stilldefending richmond . sherman has not taken atlanta . blockade runners are still getting through the federal navy blockade. for many people it looked as though three years of war had been just about enough and had gotten us next to nothing. that meant that theleaders of the republican party came to lincoln and said going to have to dosomething desperate . lincoln is very , very eager to draw as many democratic votes as he can to the side of his republic. he's not sure if they run just on the strength of republican votes that they're going to win because there are many people who are so dissatisfied with the course of things that they will shift those votes . so how do you appeal to the democratic voter who doesn't particularly like republicans or republican policies but
3:48 pm
nevertheless wants to see the war brought to a successful conclusion? what you do is you rename the republican party. so when the republican party comes together for its convention in baltimore , in the early summer of 1864, it adopts a new title. it callsitself the national union party . and while they renominate abraham lincoln, the republican nominee from 1860 as their presidentialnominee , they also select a democrat , in this case a southern democrat andrew johnson to run as vice president. in a sense in 1860 the republican party had already done something like that. in 1860 day nominate lincoln for the presidency but nominate his vice president hannibal hamlin ofmaine . then a long time democrat and
3:49 pm
had only just come over into the republican line ranks because of his opposition to slavery so you had a certain es foreshadowing of that in 1860 but 1864 it becomes explicit. lincoln is nominated as president for his national union ticket and his vice president will be andrew johnson, the only senator from a confederate state who refused to gosouth, who stayed in the south . lifelong democrat. and one who represents what had always been a democratic state . the state of andrew jackson. on the other hand, during the war lincoln had appointed johnson to be military governor oftennessee and johnson had done a reasonably good job . it wasn't perfect but he done a recently reasonably good job certainly better than some of the other experiments lincoln had made in appointing governors for occupied areas of the south. in fact johnson himself had addressed delegations of black tennesseans are missing
3:50 pm
them i will be your moses, i will lead you to the land of freedom. well republicans heard that and thought what we're trying to construct is a ticket that's going to appeal to democrats, andrew johnson was our man so johnson gets the vice presidential nomination. and the posters go up. i have a copy of one of them. national union ticket and you see abraham lincoln and andrew johnson. now for practical purposes the leadership of this national union effort is still the republican party, who's kidding who? but it is representing this very aggressive pr effort on the part of republicans to make a bipartisan appeal to democrats. so they run as the national union party. is it really a third-party?
3:51 pm
no. it's really the republicans carrying a signof a different name on it national union ticket . as johnson third-party candidate, no one would have thought that at that point because johnson described his long career as a democrat seemed to be uttering all the appropriate republican noises . so it goes further that way. lincoln is reelected and johnson is elected have as his vice president. at that point the whole national union thing disappears because they got what they wanted, they got reelection and that's the last we hear. is it third-party? yes, but only in the sense of using a different name for pr purposes. is it a third-party? no not really because it's not a different party than it was before. it's simply a strategy for recruiting democrat votes.
3:52 pm
>> host: four minutes left when our guest alan guelzo. we ask for their favorite e books and what they're currently reading. here are alan guelzo's answers. perry miller, jonathan edwards, john gardner's on moral fiction. bruce cannon, this hollow ground. daniel walker howe, the political culture of the american whigs. every jaffa, crisis at a house divided and james boswell, life of johnson . currently reading joseph horwitz's dvorak's prophecy and the next phase of black classical music. xena hits, lost in thought, the hidden pleasures of an intellectual life and robert lieberman's four thoughts, the recurring crises of american democracy. i wish we had time to discuss some of those butwe've only got a couple minutes left and we want to get james from ohio in here .>> good
3:53 pm
afternoon. hope you can hear me clearly. i'vegot my tv muted . professor guelzo i want to associate myself with an early comment of steve about from 15 minutes ago. you are as a retired teacher myself let me say you are like the very model of thoughtful analysis and what used to be called ratio summation. and above all of contextualizing. i know some people probably get on you for lengthy answers but context is everything. i've been to gettysburg three times. i have your book on my table with a few others even though i was a science teacher but gettysburg is a magical place and it will hook you. if you go once you want to go back i think. and your counterfactual dominoes that you did about what would've happened if it gets charged and succeeded. i think another thing that popped into my head. ani've had a lot of thoughts like your four by six card
3:54 pm
stack up. canada and mexico might have gotten a piece of the united states if it had been balkanized as you suggested . another book i'm reading is helper stems the coldest winter on the korean war and he says at the beginning of the chapter, perhaps all wars are in some way or another the product of miscalculations. and i guess maybe a good way to wind this up unlessyou want to talk about the instrument . >> you've got 10 seconds and then we want to get 30 seconds from doctor guelzo. >> caller: was there a big miscalculation on the part of the southern leadership that led to the southern war ? >> truly, you have about 40 seconds. >> the answer to that is direct, yes. they missed captivated horribly.
3:55 pm
they missed calculated that they had the resources to carry on the war. they miscalculated that the north would respond by refusing to admit the rebellion and making it a war. and theymiscalculated by assuming foreign nations would come to their rescue and intervene . at every moment they miscalculated and no one criticized them more for that than robert e lee and even on his way to the surrender ceremonies atappomattox he pointed this out. he said this is how iknew . this is how i always knew that this would end . >> you mentioned your four by six cards at your side for your current project which is what ? >> it is another book about abraham lincoln. so i'm returning to some original turf. >> host: we're going toclose with this text from alan newberg. who plays the bass in the background ? >> i do. i was a music major my first year in college.
3:56 pm
i discovered what you sometimes painfully discover your first year in college . you just don't have enough talent. so i had to do something else . and that's what i've been doing right up till this moment. but i still play. >> professor alan guelzo has been our guest talking about the civil war era and some of his 12 books. we very much appreciate your time. >> here's a look at publishing industry news. former trump campaign chairman paul manafort writing about the financial fraud charges filed against him. the book political prisoner will be published by skype course this summer. mister manafort was sentenced to seven year in prison but was pardoned by trump in 2020 and also in the news the fbi arrested a 29-year-old man accused of operating a rushing scan that secured unpublished manuscripts by best-sellingand first-time authors .
3:57 pm
he was employed by simon and schuster uk allegedly impersonated publishing executives and used fraudulent email addresses to obtain the documents . none of the stolen specs ever resurfaced and no ransoms were demanded. simon and schuster is not named in the indictment and displaced mister bernardini pending investigation. in other news a recent poll from the 27 percent of americans read more than 10 books last year. an eight percent drop from 2016. the senate chamber did not read any books is on par with surveys from prior years and according to npd bookscan print book sales were up to nine percent in 2021 over the previous year with 825 million books whole. about nonfiction sales rose 4 percent. this is the second
3:58 pm
consecutive year of sales growth following an eight percent jump in 2020. book tv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news and you can also watch all of our past programs anytime at >> weekends are an intellectual feast, every saturdayamerican history tv documents america stories and on sunday book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors . funding comes from these television companies and more. including cox. >> cox is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet through the connect and can be programmed. bridging the digital divide one connected and engaged student at a time. cox, bringing us closer. cox, along with these television companies supports c-span2 as a public service. >> c-span offers a variety of podcasts that have something
3:59 pm
for every listener. washington today gives you the latest from the nations capital and every week book notes plus has in-depth interviews withwriters about their latest works . while the weekly uses audio from the arguments archives to look at how issues of the day developed over years and are occasional series talking with features extensive conversations with historians about their lives and work. many of our television programs are available as podcasts. find them all on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get yourpodcasts . >> a look at books being published this week. in just pursuits cnn's senior legal analyst laura coates. >> on her time as a federal prosecutor. investigative journalist david heath profiles a scientist that reports on the technology that led to the creation of the vaccine in his book longshot. and in 100,001st losses will haskell recounts his path as
4:00 pm
a recent college graduate to the youngest state senator in connecticut history. also being published, new york times global economic correspondent peter goodman looks at wealth inequality through the financial lives of five billionaires in dominoes man and in the art of more, science writer michael brooks examines how mathematics led to the growth of civilization. >> .. is dedicated her life to conflict and humanitarian crises work around the world. she's reported on the front lines is a first-hand witness from the middle east, across africa and from s


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on