Historian and novelist Thomas Fleming is the author of more than fifty books, including two very good revisionist histories of the two world wars: The New Dealers’ War, and The Illusion of Victory in World War I. He has authored biographies of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and has written extensively about the founding generation, including his best-selling book, Liberty! As a regular on PBS and NPR he is as “mainstream” as it gets. That is, he was, until he published his latest book, A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War.
No respectable historian believes the Deep North/government school fantasy that enlightened and morally-superior Northerners elected Abe Lincoln so that they could go to war and die by the hundreds of thousands solely for the benefit of black strangers in the “deep South.” And Thomas Fleming is as “respectable” as one gets in terms of contemporary writers of history. Fleming has discovered what scholars such as the late, great Murray Rothbard and the not-late-but-still-great Clyde Wilson wrote about many years ago: A war was not necessary to end slavery – the rest of the world did it peacefully; only 6 percent of adult Southern men owned slaves, which means that the average Confederate soldier was not fighting to preserve a system that actually harmed him and his family economically; and that the real cause of the war was what Fleming calls a “malevolent envy” of the South by New England “Yankees” who waged a war of economic conquest. In his own words, from the inside front cover of A Disease in the Public Mind:
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