Tag Archives: Robert Penn Warren

Telling History vs. Making Art: Fictions and Histories

Final part of a series “[H]istory and historical fiction,” says historian Paul Ashdown, “are alternate ways of telling stories about the past.”[1] In that context, Ulysses S. Grant spoke more truth than he realized when he said “Wars produce many … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: The ways we remember the war

Part two in a series “We may say that only at the moment when Lee handed Grant his sword was the Confederacy born,” wrote Robert Penn Warren during the Civil War’s centennial; “or to state matters another way, in the … Continue reading

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Warren’s Legacy still asks urgent questions

As a Kentucky-born writer who lived most of his professional life in the North, Robert Penn Warren was deeply conflicted about the American Civil War. That ambivalence, and the tensions that sprang from it, haunt every section of his essential … Continue reading

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American Oracle and the dangers of political fanaticism

Reading David Blight’s American Oracle this weekend, I’ve noticed a subtle, cautionary note that keeps playing itself as an occasional undertone. It reminds me again why the study of history has something to tell us about current events—and also that no one … Continue reading

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