Tales from a Long Commute

Stephen White of Catholic University shares lessons from Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative as he listens to it on his commute:

“And that only accounts for Northern opinion. If you take into account what Southerners thought of Mr. Lincoln, it’s safe to say that most Americans in late 1864 considered Lincoln as, at best a failure, at worst a tyrant. It was a rare citizen who, at the time, could imagine then how Lincoln would be revered today.

“The past often seems inevitable, and the distant past, all the more so. In contrast to the contingency of the present and indeterminacy of the future, we can easily forget that events that appear inevitable from the vantage of hindsight, were often, in the moment of their being, very near-run things.”

Read the whole article.

Photo by Brian LeFevre on Unsplash