Recently a commencement speaker exhorted graduating students to “be on the right side of history.”
The commencement speaker used the phrase ‘be on the right side of history’ to mean actively supporting social trends that are currently in fashion.
But ‘the right side of history’ also implies that there are right and wrong sides of history. Indeed there are different versions of history depending on the historian doing the research and the reporting.
However, for the last half-century, academia, media, and the entertainment field have offered students and the public a one-sided, highly politicized version of American history that depicts the South and its traditions as irretrievably flawed. Even public libraries in Southern cities seldom shelve books that depict the South sympathetically. Consequently many Southerners have had to assemble their own book collections.
As an addition to a Southerner’s book collection, I recommend War For What ? by Francis W. Springer. Born in 1899, Mr. Springer spent his youth in Washington, D.C. and New York City, attending that city’s schools and Columbia University. After retiring from a career in the Northeast, Springer and his wife, Beulah Hollidge, a Boston native, spent their remaining years on a farm in Charlottesville, Virginia. The couple’s fascination with American history led them to spend years of copious research into our country’s past. The result was numerous historical articles and Springer’s book War For What ?.
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