Notes on the "Lost Cause"

I appreciate Kevin Levin's thoughtful post on my issues with "Lost Cause" historiography and should clarify a few points.

Boiling things down to essentials:

(1) My gripes are with published authors, not bloggers.

(2) The offense taken is in the representation of disparate views as a school of thought or school of history.

(3) I would prefer if the many, disparate arguments addressed under so-called "Lost Cause" history were lumped together under a generic rhetorical term like "Confederate Apologetics."

(4) I have no issues with anyone attacking, examining, arguing any of the individual points of heterogenous "Confederate Apologetics." That would be a rhetorical exercise with history overtones.

(5) I have huge problems with people who should know better erecting a school of history where the real job is to point out rhetorical affinities and tendencies in argumentation.

The so-called "history" that has been labeled "Lost Cause" is overwhelmingly concerned with rhetorical work, not historical tasks: assigning blame and praise, adducing cause and effect, separating sheep from goats. Because pop historians are so deeply committed to delivering goods like these, they imagine themselves busy with historiography when they engage rhetorically. They imagine that the repudiation of non-history on the terms of non-history is an historiographic activity.

This was not history. This is not history. This cannot be history.

(As always, I have exaggerated somewhat to make a point or two and am subject to refutation and rebuke as needed.)