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23 July 2011


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Patrick Lang


BTW, The only reason that race relations and slavery were not discussed was that Davis did not ask. pl

Sidney O. Smith III

Enjoyed the interview. The complexity of the Claude D. -- Lincoln relationship appears to bestow this literary work a moral and human dimension that will set it apart from others. Well-developed plots reveal three dimensional characters, so the focal point of this work perhaps is the transition of Claude D. as he interacts with the 16th Prez. (and perhaps vice versa, I will have to wait and see).

Also noted that the website offers a podcast lecture on the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. Probably a worthwhile listen as well. The remarkable history of the STFU is little known . It was a racially integrated union of white and black sharecroppers in the Deep South (primarily Ark and Missouri ) during the New Deal.

I wrote my college thesis on the STFU, after stumbling on the topic probably due to the work of James Agee and the photographers of the FSA -- Dorothea Lange, M. Burke White, Walker Evans, et al.

Knowledge of the STFU makes for a keen juxtaposition -- if not a cognitive dissonance -- when one also reads the work of the great William Percy. Few in academia can embrace both (I am aware of only one -- and it certainly isn’t Howard Zinn) But those in academia that have the perspective to embrace both are worth noting, as they are true to their calling.

My, how times change. The macro-economics behind the rise of the STFU would additionally capture my interest in this day and age.

And yes, there is a historical link between the STFU and “mid 19th century US history” about which Col. Lang writes. Actually there is a link between “mid 19th century US history” and Shock and Awe as well. Claude D. may have seen the danger of what is now called American exceptionalism. (maybe Lincoln too, not sure, but he seemed acutely aware of the dangers posed by the Jacobins who eventually gained control).

Sidney O. Smith III


The more I think about your interview, the more I believe you really are on to something re: an ongoing encounter between Lincoln and a Confederate spy who has the power of empathy. Much potential there to get to the soul of America or what you referred to in another post as the center that in 2011 has vanished.

I am not overly confident that a 21st century American audience will see it, though. From what I can recall, CD had an genuine and deep respect for the Smoots of the world, but it's unlikely those raised today on Zinn alone are going to believe it.

Perhaps your best hope is an audience abroad.

You mentioned in your interview that Claude D. comes from a banking family, he had a French momma, and he had spent time in France.

So, since we live in a time of macro-economics, I started wondering if Claude D. was familiar with the work of the Frenchman Frederick Bastiat and whether or not he agreed with Bastiat’s ideas or did he think them bunk. Also started wondering if his family believed in fractional reserve banking and, if so, what did CD deem an appropriate level of reserves.

Patrick Lang


Perhaps you should read it again. Perhaps not. In the end both are destroyed. pl pl

Sidney O. Smith III

Hi Col.

Will re-read after I gain a better understanding of that time. I’m not that well read on CW/WBS history. I have two or three more nonfiction books on the list that I want to read that give different perspectives before moving back to fiction with that setting. And now this whole macro economics debate has caught my attention. Riveting, at least in some aspects.

Charles I

I recall that Smoot's respect for CD was clouded by the same thing he condemned CD for - irrepressible love.

Patrick Lang

Charles I

Yes, wonderful, dont you think? although I am not sure that what CD feels for Amy is exactly "eros," more like the need to feed on her need for him. pl

bill roche

would you pls say the three titles in your trilogy and where (on line?)one can buy them
bill roche

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