I learned something new on every single page, and some of it was actually quite disturbing. Almost everything you and I have learned about the Civil War is a lie. James Ronald and Walter Donald Kennedy set the record straight in this down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness, so-in-your-face-it's-scary book on the truth about the South.
For example, I bet you didn't know that:
- Contrary to popular belief, if the South had been an independent nation in 1860 her economy would have ranked as the third largest on the European and American continents. Instead, the world at large would have us believe that the South was a poor and backward area prior to the war.
- The poorest states in the Union, the Deep South, got that way because of Reconstruction. The North made no attempt to help the impoverished South back on her feet after losing a war, and instead made it worse by burning her cities and pillaging every resource they could find. Even today, 150 years later, states like South Carolina and Mississippi still have not recovered economically.
- White Southerners get a bad rap for being racist because their ancestors owned slaves, but only 10% of Southerners (at the most) actually owned slaves. That means the other 90% were fighting for something else, by the way. Moreover, masters bought their slaves from slave traders in New England -- the region that was supposedly freeing these people! Also, many Southern blacks were free men and women who were slave holders themselves. For the final blow on the slavery/racist issue, slavery started in the Middle East thousands of years ago, not in the South 150 years ago; every culture on the face of the earth has felt the bond of slavery. So next time someone bitterly asks you if your ancestors were slaves, boldly say YES.