Confederate Monuments as Part of Myth America

Dr. Karen Cox shows us the complex history of Confederate Monuments in the US, and what has actually happened during this recent period of removal. Professor Buzzkill himself was floored to hear how many monuments still exist, and about the complicated ways in which some monuments have been removed. Her work as part of the new book, Myth America, is not to be missed! Episode 494.

Buzzkill Bookshelf

Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer (eds.), Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past

America’s top historians set the record straight on the most pernicious myths about our nation’s past 

The United States is in the grip of a crisis of bad history. Distortions of the past promoted in the conservative media have led large numbers of Americans to believe in fictions over facts, making constructive dialogue impossible and imperiling our democracy.  

In Myth America, Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer have assembled an all-star team of fellow historians to push back against this misinformation. The contributors debunk narratives that portray the New Deal and Great Society as failures, immigrants as hostile invaders, and feminists as anti-family warriors—among numerous other partisan lies. Based on a firm foundation of historical scholarship, their findings revitalize our understanding of American history. 

Replacing myths with research and reality, Myth America is essential reading amid today’s heated debates about our nation’s past. 

Karen L. Cox, No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice

When it comes to Confederate monuments, there is no common ground. Polarizing debates over their meaning have intensified into legislative maneuvering to preserve the statues, legal battles to remove them, and rowdy crowds taking matters into their own hands. These conflicts have raged for well over a century–but they’ve never been as intense as they are today.

In this eye-opening narrative of the efforts to raise, preserve, protest, and remove Confederate monuments, Karen L. Cox depicts what these statues meant to those who erected them and how a movement arose to force a reckoning. She lucidly shows the forces that drove white southerners to construct beacons of white supremacy, as well as the ways that anti-monument sentiment, largely stifled during the Jim Crow era, returned with the civil rights movement and gathered momentum in the decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Monument defenders responded with gerrymandering and “heritage” laws intended to block efforts to remove these statues, but hard as they worked to preserve the Lost Cause vision of southern history, civil rights activists, Black elected officials, and movements of ordinary people fought harder to take the story back. Timely, accessible, and essential, No Common Ground is the story of the seemingly invincible stone sentinels that are just beginning to fall from their pedestals.

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