Episode #56: Civil Wars

General Introduction
– Comparing offices
– What’s on the blog?
– Listener feedback
– Punching the tar baby

Absalom, Absalom!
– The roots of civil war in incest
– Popular support
– Mourning for the enemy
– (It’s “Absalon, Fili Mi,” not “Absalon, Mili Fi”)
– The Gore Vidal view of history

– Which war?
– Law vs. tyranny
– Dictatorship vs. republic
– Is the force of law enough to rule?
– Who rules the Senate?
– Building on history
– American self-invention

The English Civil War
– Monarchy vs. Parliamentary Republic
– James I defends his Imago Dei
– Milton strikes back
– James to Charles to Cromwell to Charles
– Cavaliers and Roundheads

The American Civil War
– The Revolutionary War
– Was Lincoln a tyrant or just a Federalist?
– Why the war wasn’t just about slavery
– The clash of the past and the future
– Were the Confederate generals heroes?
– Randy Newman and the geography of racism

Lingering Effects of the American Civil War
– Help us, Chris Gehrz
– A matter of time
– The English Civil War in popular culture
– Sic Semper Tyrannis!

American Policy and Foreign Civil Wars
– Bad-faith rhetoric
– Why civil wars sometime require intervention
– The role of religion
– Intervention based on president

The Christian Response
– Sons of Cain
– The sword Christ brings
– The Fall
– Civil wars as the ultimate tragedy
– The beginnings of Christianity
– Nathan Gilmour offends everybody


Harris, Joel Chandler. The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus. Ed. Richard Chase. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

Livy. The Early History of Rome. Trans. Aubrey de Sélincourt. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Milton, John. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates. Portland, Ore.: ReadHowYouWant, 2007.

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. New York: Penguin, 1982.

Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. New York: Arden, 1998.

Wilson, Harriet E. Our Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black in a Two-Story White House. Seattle: CreateSpace, 2011.

2 comments for “Episode #56: Civil Wars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *