I owe regular readers an explanation. Why dote on a Civil War opera?
Because it elevates the ACW beyond McPherson's and Burns' kid stuff.
Because every Philip Glass interview promoting his opera is an argument made to cafe society that the Civil War is worth a grown man's time (to borrow a cliche from Shelby Foote). (Cafe society has been prepped for this by Doctorow's novelistic plunge into Shermanology.)
Because if the opera succeeds artistically, it will result in a much better influx of readers and book buyers than was generated by previous pop media events, which will result in better reading for all.
Because if the opera succeeds commercially, we may eventually see a production of Updike's play Buchanan Dying. "Let us force no event that gradual causes will in time render inevitable!" (Harrumph!)
Because the Civil War as a subject is made for opera; this may inspire better work. The foundation for a profound ACW opera has already been laid by an immortal Hindemith/Whitman "collaboration."
Because, like spinach, it is good for you...
(Cartoon by Tony Millionaire.)