"When we impart history for the masses, we tend to generalize,” Clemens said. We tend to create heroes and villains and things become more black and white, good and bad, right and wrong.
We know that two of the great icons of American history are Abraham Lincoln, the martyred president, and Robert E. Lee, the noble soldier. So when George McClellan argues with one and defeats the other, it doesn’t fit into the mold,” he continued. “We have to somehow reduce McClellan and minimalize his achievements so that the icons remain icons."
Icons will be icons
from Tom Clemens (h/t to a correspondent):