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on May 17, 2000
Charles Reagan Wilson's work brilliantly describes the civil religion (as described by Geertz) of the "Lost Cause" that was pervasive in the Reconstruction and Early Modern South.
Wilson argues that this civil religion was a combination of Christian and Confederate symbols. According to Wilson this civil religion was formed out of Confederate ministers attempts to reconcile defeat in the war with the Will of God and (as the ministers believed) Confederate righteousness.
Significant in this study is Wilson's look at the role that White Supremacy played in this civil religion. He looks extensively at the role of racism as embodied in groups such as the KKK.
All in all, the work is a brilliant look at ideas pervasive in the reconstruction and early modern south, ideas which have been influential in formation of the modern New South.
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on April 19, 2014
I know, the title of this book sounds like a slasher film, right? So what's it really about? To use the words of the author, historian Charles Reagan Wilson, it's about "the afterlife of a Redeemer Nation that died" but that nonetheless continued "as a sacred presence, a holy ghost haunting the spirits and actions of post-Civil War Southerners." After the War, it was painfully obvious to Southerners that they were never going to constitute a separate political state. However, they could possess "a separate cultural identity." And that's what they set out to establish and define. At the heart of this separate cultural identity was religion. Wilson says that his book is a study of the link between religion and history in the American South from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I. Then and there, "Southern civil religion . . . tied together Christian churches and Southern culture." Pick up any academic reading list for Religion and the American South, and you're bound to see the title of this book. Baptized in Blood has earned its place as a landmark volume. Because of its quality and its unique contribution to the historiography of the topic, this book deserves five stars.
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on April 5, 2002
Wilson's Baptized in Blood is a brilliant book, one of which I was required to read for a graduate history course on religion in the American south. Although I was born and grew up in the south, I nevertheless was a foreigner there. There was much in the psychology of southerners which made no sense to me. Reading Baptized in Blood was an extraordinary eye-opener! Though I am yet and always will be a stranger in the land of my birth, through the cogent narrative Wilson provides, I understand more deeply now the mythic, psychological origins of the many peculiar and bizarre thoughts, feelings and behaviours of southerners. Southerners REALLY and TRULY BELIEVED that GOD was on their side, in the prosecution of the civil war, and have had to reconcile their defeat as best they could. The inability to let go of that loss goes far in making southerners what they are.
Baptized in Blood is well worth the reading of anyone who seeks to understand the post-civil war period, and/or the social and political psychology of the American south.
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on June 28, 2015
Want to understand the issues over the confederate flag & how the Soutjh viewed it & pastor's preached it about it, Southern historians reconstructed history ???then this is a must read!!
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on March 6, 2012
The story of the Lost Cause is the untold story of the aftermath of the Civil War. It is the key to understanding the hold of white supremacy in the South for the last 150 years. Charles Reagan Wilson describes and documents the hold that this philosophy still has on our history, and the distortions that have become a belief system for hundreds of thousands of people, who learned this "white-washed" history from kindergarten through university. It is the tragic story of the struggle of our country to come to terms with the slaves who were brought here in chains. They have been part of our history since slave ships first arrived in Jamestown in the 1690's.

The book is riveting. The scholarship is meticulous. I could not put it down. I recommend it without reservation to anyone who wants to understand the history of our country.
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on December 1, 2012
Charles R. Wilson is history professor at U. of Miss. and editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. I was familiar with his writing from a previous book. As a native Southerner and having been exposed to the "Southern Catechism" I doubly appreciated his exposition of how the churches and religion perpetuated the "Lost Cause" myth.

F. Norman Vickers
Pensacola, FL
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on October 30, 1999
This book discusses the theological basis of southern slave society. Anyone who questions the religious self-righteousness of the southerners should read this book because it highlights the contradictions inherent in the hateful southern society and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have acquired a much greater understanding of the history of the religious right, and, being a southern black trying to understand the hatred around which I live, this book enlightens my perspective.
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on December 7, 2012
I was Interested in the info in the book. It was very informational. It had been recommended to me, and I thought it told the story very well.
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on December 12, 2012
I have been curious for awhile about some of the cultural issues intrinsic in the South and found this book. The seller was very quick and courteous and so that is what my review is. Haven't had a chance yet to do more than skim.
But seller is excellent.
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