Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History (review)

Still Fighting the Civil War, by David Goldfield (Louisiana State University Press, 2002).

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Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History (review)

by David W. Blight
Southern Cultures, Vol. 9, No. 2: Summer 2003

Louisiana State University Press, 2002.

In this provocative book on an old subject, written for a broad audience, David Goldfield maintains that southerners have, since 1865, lived under a “burden” of history and memory. The southerner, writes Goldfield, is “either fixated upon the past and therefore immobilized by it, or. . . a total amnesiac and therefore destructive.” Still Fighting the Civil War is one historian’s update of W. J. Cash’s The Mind of the South, which also returns to the themes of irony, identity, and the weight of a peculiar past in C. Vann Woodward’s The Burden of Southern History.