"I think they should look at if from the perspective that all wars are tragic and that it was a tragedy that happened to the people involved, not as victory for the good people and punishment of the bad." Andy Wolff, camp counselor/staff naturalist, Lawrence
"History really shouldn’t be told by people who write the history books or the side that won, but by the individual histories of the people who actually lived through it." Mollie Sultenfuss, teacher, Newton
"If you ask that about the Civil War, then you have to ask the same question of all history. The people who win write the story." — Maura Egan, food service, Lawrence
"I think they oversimplify what happened. People need to learn that it was fought over more than slavery and primarily over sectionalism."— Chris Liverman, Kansas University medical student, Kansas City, Kan.
What to make of this? I'm impressed by the implicit rejection of Unionist histories. Is this a taste of this generation's reaction to the dominant Centennialism? (The respondents all appear to be in their 20s.)
Marx used the pejorative "naive socialism" to refer to the non-scientific variety and I think what we have here is - without any pejorative - naive historiography. It looks certain of itself, fairly sound, and if based on the quotes here, it is robust.
Stop random people in the street and talk historiography with them. What a concept!
Not that the rubber Lincoln brigade will slow its advance, nor will the heritage tourism planners reflect for a moment but there is an historiographic consciousness at large that verges on the rejection of Civil War history as it has been.
... if the answers from a man in the street interview can be believed.