November 14. 2023
The section I am working on now looks so much different when reading everything from primary sources, of which there are a bazillion to choose from, only to discover that what I was always taught and believed has actually morphed into something else entirely.
Imagine a certain section of history as this blue lane, its always been blue and then you discover this green lane that is totally different but yet similar to the blue lane. And that was when everything kind of tilted.
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be”—Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night.
It is the cynicism and biting sarcasm which I found so refreshing and different, full of humorous back-biting soap-opera type drama, nuance and black humor so black, O my gosh, I cannot believe some of this stuff was published, especially during the American Civil War.
“History is Written by Victors.” — attributed to Winston Churchill
“Which may or may not be entirely truthful.”— Me.
After going balls deep into this topic since 2006, I found if I just allow the story to unwind, and without much prodding on my part, I realize I am just following along for the ride and I have to say, I am enjoying it immensely. I never realized the American Civil War could be so, dare I say, entertaining?
Reading history from primary sources in chronological order without the usual dry, academic retelling after years of dilutions, opinions, political agendas and omissions, not to mention the endless oceans of footnotes and endnotes, I seem to have stumbled upon voices that are so much more interesting and created an entirely different flavor of the American Civil War.
One of the most important things that I learned from the people that I look up to and admire the most, was to not give a tinker’s goddamn about what other people thought. It is exhausting trying to fit in and the idea of being forced to participate in a collective group-think environment would make me so, so depressed. I don’t want to look and sound and think like everybody else.
I am an autodidact, a rogue historian if you will. I am writing this book from the point of view of an autodidact, which is the polar opposite of an Academic/Academia.
And because I am not an Academic, I am also reverting back to the way nonfiction narrative books used to be published pre1970, without a bibliography, footnotes, endnotes, &c., which, I have to say, has been quite freeing.
Music: Jalisco Bloom by Lost Dog Street Band