- Lost Cause lens--the South as noble victim of an 'experiment in nation building'. The war wasn't about slavery or unification but cast Lee as a latter-day Washington fighting an un-winnable war.
- Union Cause lens--the war was about keeping the union together. Slavery might be a secondary issue but the main point of the war is to honor the Founders and their vision of America and ensure a Union for future generations.
- Emancipation Cause lens--the war's focus was the liberation of millions of slaves and cleanse the 'cancerous influence' slavery had on the United States.
- Reconciliation Cause lens-The war was an evidence of our 'American-ness'-both North and South. It is almost exclusively a 'white' focus and celebrated the noble and valiant white leaders on both sides.
Dr. Gallagher then looks at a number of films, from Birth of A Nation and Gone With the Wind to Gettysburg and Cold Mountain and CSA: Confederate State of America. e also looks at popular art in the 21st Century as well with the same focus.
I have to say I've been wrestling with this book and my role as a history teacher. I have a huge movie poster of Gettysburg on my door. I've used clips of Glory and Gods and General and and several of the images in my instruction. I have to admit, I spend a lot of time asking kids to look at the paintings and writing from the Founding Era to determine what the artist or writer wanted us to see and take away from their work. I don't think I've done due diligence for the Civil War. I'm not sure how this'll all play out but it is part of what I like about these summer programs and the flexibility that summer brings. It is difficult to do this kind of reflection during the school year but an important part of what a teacher does.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. It is one of the 'must-stop at' sites for me in DC. I go there every trip I make to the city. If I'm there, I'll be the doughy bald guy openly weeping. Get over it.
This flag was left at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial last summer. You can't go there an not be moved. I was and I wanted to remember that moment.
A lot of people on tours skip the Korean War Memorial when they tour the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials. That is their loss. I think it is one of the most well-conceived of the monuments. The confusion and fear of war is palpable.