Frank Varney

He has not published a book yet, but Cornell professor Francis Phillip Varney is rocking the Civil War boat.

His students give him the highest rating of "hotness," whatever that signifies, and post rave comments about him on RateMyProfessors.

Tonight, he delivers
his lecture, "Lies, Damned Lies, and the Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant: How One Man Wrote the History of the Civil War." Frank Varney of Cornell University will investigate Grant's attempt to manipulate the historical record. [...] The lecture is free and will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 415 E. Water St. in Elmira [NY].

Two years ago, he delivered a talk, "The Lies of Iuka: the Origin of the Grant-Rosecrans Feud."

Truly, to see Grant at his personal worst, one needs to delve deeply into his relations with Rosecrans. (Try this to start.) Outside of the Southrons and a few students of Rosecrans, I don't know of many Grant critics. Certainly, one is needed.

Varney's interests range beyond the Civil War. He will speak on "The Death of a City: The Athenian Destruction of Melos in 416 B.C." on May 18. Good choice: the tragedy of the Melian dialog should always be before us and resonates deeply with current foreign affairs.

(Odd, though, that parents would name their child after a famous vampire, isn't it?)