William Faulkner famously observed, in “Requiem for a Nun,” that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
So it is with the legacy of the Civil War and the South, where the stars and bars are still waved proudly.
Read Dr. David Blight’s essay in the Atlantic. Then follow that with Dr. Eric Foner’s NYT essay, Why Reconstruction Matters. You will get a sense of a nation still in many ways divided, and then reflect on what one author described as the “Dixification” of our politics and how profoundly that has affected our lives.
Looking back, I think it could be said that John Wilkes Booth did as much as any one man to change the course of American history, and for the worse.