Your History Moment: Why We Can’t Turn Away

When I was in Charleston, SC, I took a Civil War Walking Tour.

I asked our guide if folks down here were still fighting the Civil War.  His reply was classic, and his drawl dripped like homemade biscuit syrup.

“Excuse me, suh…don’t you mean the wah of nor-then aggression?”

I had my answer.

What is the fascination with our Civil War?  It’s like a train wreck, but we can’t look away.  More books have been written about it than any other event in American history…even our revolution!

Just look at this 3.5 story tower of books on Lincoln alone:

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/20/147062501/forget-lincoln-logs-a-tower-of-books-to-honor-abe

And it fascinates me too.  I even went so far as to write a movie about it.  Here’s the trailer for Something Gray on my website:

Shakespeare’s In The Alley

SomethingGrayCover2

So why is it that we’re so deeply fascinated with this national disaster?  I ask Civil War buffs this same question all the time.  What is it about this event that has you so hooked?

No one ever gives me a great, all-encompassing answer.  I’m not sure there is one good answer, but I keep asking.

Is it the characters?  Is it because it’s our “family story?”  Is it  because of the weapons coming of age ahead of Napoleonic tactics and strategy?  Is it slavery’s abolition?

And so I ask YOU…what is our obsession with the Civil War, er…the Wah of Nor-then Aggression?  Can you explain what draws us in to the tune of over 50,000 books on the subject?  And that was just an estimate over 10 years ago!

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