Blogging the Civil War

Hach, Internet. Wie großartig ist das denn schon wieder. Die New York Times hat seit einigen Tagen eine neue kleine Sektion, in der sie den Amerikanischen Bürgerkrieg nachbloggt. Abraham Lincoln wurde am 6. November 1860 zum Präsidenten gewählt, und der Civil War begann am 12. April 1861.

“One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, Americans went to war with themselves. Disunion revisits and reconsiders America’s most perilous period – using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded.”

Der erste Artikel der Serie von Tony Horwitz beschreibt, warum die Erinnerung notwendig ist:

“I was born in a different era, the late 1950s, when the last Union drummer boy had only just died and plastic blue-and-gray soldiers were popular toys. In the 1960s, the Civil War centennial recalled great battles as protesters marched for civil rights and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, “One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.”

Today the Civil War echoes at a different register, usually in fights over remembrance. (…) The 1860s also have a particular resonance at election time, as the country splits along political and cultural lines that still separate white Southern voters from balloters in blue Union states.

But as we approach the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s election, on Nov. 6, and the long conflict that followed, it’s worth recalling other reasons that era endures. The Civil War isn’t just an adjunct to current events. It’s a national reserve of words, images and landscapes, a storehouse we can tap in lean times like these, when many Americans feel diminished, divided and starved for discourse more nourishing than cable rants and Twitter feeds.”

(via einem schnatterhaften Twitterfeed, nämlich dem von Regelmann)