Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dueling Civil War Sesquicentennial Blogs Debut

Last week, The Washington Post and The New York Times rolled out blogs that will cover the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War over the next five years. (Coincidence, co-dependence, or healthy competition? Who can say?)

They take slightly different approaches. The Post has gathered a panel of 25 experts to answer questions about the war, the politics of the era, and the consequence. Among the experts are noted Lincoln authors such as Harold Holzer and recent Lincoln Prize-winner Craig Symonds. The first question, answered by six panelists, is "Would there have been a war if Lincoln hadn't won the 1860 election?" The answers (none of them particularly earth-shattering or provocative, sadly) are posted on the blog, entitled "A House Divided."

The Times is evidently planning to refight the war day-by-day by offering posts of events that occurred exactly 150 years before. Some of the posts will be written in a "You are there" style; others are reflections on the past events. The Times has called their blog "Disunion" -- well, actually, "DISUNION," but I'm unclear why they feel the need to shout.

Hopefully there will be some good material here in the coming years. At the very least, let's hope that there is sufficient interest to sustain the efforts.

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