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good book for kids about making your own choices
on April 30, 2015
Although perhaps overly simplistic, this book points out the fallacy of thinking in absolutes--the idea is that no one is ever entirely bad (or wrong) or entirely good (and right). Historically, however, it goes a little overboard on the moral equivalency of conducting the war--suggesting that both North and South harmed civilians. This may be true; but there was a substantial difference of intent and degree. For instance, the Confederates burned 1 northern town; the Union burned hundreds. The union policy was of destroy the Souths ability not just for the army to wage war--but for the civilian population to feed itself. By contrast, Confederate armies took only what they needed; it was not done for revenge or to impoverish civilians. Maybe it's a distinction without a difference to some people (and of course now it's popular to say this was to expiate the sin of slavery--although that was not the justification given at the time) but this book glosses over some facts that are pretty relevant to the discussion and would have made for a more nuanced story.