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Rebert E. Lee Doc on PBS Jan 3, 2011 @ 9:00 PM EST

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  • WEB455@AOL.COM
    VIENNA, Va. — Jan. 2, 2011 — The local PBS stations will present a 90-minute documentary on the life of Robert E. Lee tomorrow evening Jan. 3 at 9:00
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 3, 2011
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      VIENNA, Va. — Jan. 2, 2011 —  The local PBS stations will present a 90-minute documentary on the life of Robert E. Lee tomorrow evening Jan. 3 at 9:00 p.m.,  the first of a series of three programs in the “American Experience” series, kicking off the Sesquicentennial observance which begins this year.

      The program was duly dissected by Washington Post writer Hank Stuever, who seemed to bend over backwards in his desire to NOT like it, with grudging admissions here and there that  at least there had been no “biographical bombshells, undiscovered offspring or recently unearthed documents.”

      Robert E. Lee on PBS

      Robert E. Lee on PBS

      To no one’s surprised, the specter of slavery comes through his review loud and clear.  And to be sure slavery was a major cause of the civil war, but it was not the only or sole cause.  Yet it is dragged up at every occasion.  We seem to forget – or find recontextualizing too difficult for modern day brains – the fact that it was entirely legal then, and that the majority of (white) leaders of the day were slaveholders.  Even George Washington owned slaves, unless you want to think that those white wigged gents with the long stockings and silver buckles on their shoes did all the laboring and building.  Ditto with Jefferson Davis and scads of others.

      If  you were an average landholder then, had 50 acres of cotton or tobacco, someone had to work those fields and bring out a crop. It was that simple.

      Yet Mr. Stuever on the one hand acknowledges that the documentary “summons forth a smattering of endowed-chair academics and other history professors…” to advise the viewing public how “Lee backed the wrong side for the wrong reasons.” You can forget excessive tariffs and other salient causes for the actions of the South, and Lee’s resulting decisions, there was only one cause, one reason, one fairly myopic view.

      He mentions Lee’s scolding of his attractive and unmarried daughters for too much socializing while battles raged and men died, so we are assured that the so-called “marble man” was a rather typical father, as well as a devoted husband.

      Like Stuever, I doubt it will rise to the level of Ken Burns’ series of several years ago (has it really been that long?) but as an intro to the sesquicentennial seen in the person of one of its most outstanding military officers, it bears watching.  So we’ll reserve further comment til after the broadcast and hope for the best. Surely Lee deserves that.

    • Raymond OHara
      If there was no slavery there was no war.that slavery was the cause of the of CSA was made clear by legions of Southern leadersin speeches and writings
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 3, 2011
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        If there was no slavery there was no war.
        that slavery was the cause of the of CSA was made clear by legions of Southern leaders
        in speeches and writings drumming up support for it.

        this modern day revisionist "it was one cause among others" is pure bullshit.
        the Southern Pols had voted for the very tariffis and even incorporated many of them in the CSA government that it's claimed they so hated.
        So slavery should come through loud in any CW show,  as A.H.Stephens said in his famous cornerstone speech


        "The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right"

        peculiar just meant unique and not odd to them.
        Uniques wasn't in general usage yet and peculiar hadn't morphed into odd as we use it today



        --- On Mon, 1/3/11, WEB455@... <WEB455@...> wrote:

        From: WEB455@... <WEB455@...>
        Subject: [20th_Massachusetts_Infantry_Regiment] Rebert E. Lee Doc on PBS Jan 3, 2011 @ 9:00 PM EST
        To: gettysburg-ghosts@yahoogroups.com, 20th_Massachusetts_Infantry_Regiment@yahoogroups.com, Fans-of-the-West@...
        Date: Monday, January 3, 2011, 6:05 AM

         

        VIENNA, Va. — Jan. 2, 2011 —  The local PBS stations will present a 90-minute documentary on the life of Robert E. Lee tomorrow evening Jan. 3 at 9:00 p.m.,  the first of a series of three programs in the “American Experience” series, kicking off the Sesquicentennial observance which begins this year.

        The program was duly dissected by Washington Post writer Hank Stuever, who seemed to bend over backwards in his desire to NOT like it, with grudging admissions here and there that  at least there had been no “biographical bombshells, undiscovered offspring or recently unearthed documents.”

        Robert E. Lee on PBS

        Robert E. Lee on PBS

        To no one’s surprised, the specter of slavery comes through his review loud and clear.  And to be sure slavery was a major cause of the civil war, but it was not the only or sole cause.  Yet it is dragged up at every occasion.  We seem to forget – or find recontextualizing too difficult for modern day brains – the fact that it was entirely legal then, and that the majority of (white) leaders of the day were slaveholders.  Even George Washington owned slaves, unless you want to think that those white wigged gents with the long stockings and silver buckles on their shoes did all the laboring and building.  Ditto with Jefferson Davis and scads of others.

        If  you were an average landholder then, had 50 acres of cotton or tobacco, someone had to work those fields and bring out a crop. It was that simple.

        Yet Mr. Stuever on the one hand acknowledges that the documentary “summons forth a smattering of endowed-chair academics and other history professors…” to advise the viewing public how “Lee backed the wrong side for the wrong reasons.” You can forget excessive tariffs and other salient causes for the actions of the South, and Lee’s resulting decisions, there was only one cause, one reason, one fairly myopic view.

        He mentions Lee’s scolding of his attractive and unmarried daughters for too much socializing while battles raged and men died, so we are assured that the so-called “marble man” was a rather typical father, as well as a devoted husband.

        Like Stuever, I doubt it will rise to the level of Ken Burns’ series of several years ago (has it really been that long?) but as an intro to the sesquicentennial seen in the person of one of its most outstanding military officers, it bears watching.  So we’ll reserve further comment til after the broadcast and hope for the best. Surely Lee deserves that.

         

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