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The lost cause regained. By Edward A. Pollard. Paperback – December 20, 2005
Format Paperback Subject History Publisher Scholarly Publishing Office University of Michigan Library
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1.) Recognizing the supremacy of the white race
2.) Relegating blacks to a perpetual second-class status, and
3.) Taking the government to task for excesses committed during the war and after
Pollard makes a strong case against the ongoing Reconstruction his beloved South was harshly enduring at the time of this 200 page book's publication. Military occupation, disenfranchisement of white males and gerrymandering to create black voter majorities were common occurrences. He sees in the attempted impeachment of Andrew Johnson not a vindication of Sec'y of War Edwin Stanton but a repudiation of the Republican Administration and their policies during and after the war.
A supposition that the late war was actually a good thing for the South holds a lot less water. He cites Morley's commentary regarding Britain's loss of the American colonies as example. Morley thought the end result positive because the House of Commons had been heavy-handed in dealing with colonists and King George III was too meddling with Parliament. Both situations ended after the surrender at Yorktown, and a strong Prime Minister filled the power gap.
Pollard believed a general repudiation of Lincoln's war policies (such as suspension of habeas corpus) was soon forthcoming. He couldn't see that such Constitutional violations may have been required during an extreme emergency in order to reunite the country. Although this is debatable ground, the author's beliefs about blacks are not. His racism is blatant, repugnant and despite efforts of apologists, simply unacceptable. At times this book reads like a primer for White Supremacists, Separationists and other hate groups. We'll let the man himself speak on the subject of
THE NEGRO QUESTION
"Slavery has improved and civilized the Negro... slavery was a valuable school for the Negro.."
"Blacks have a small brain, an inclination to the quadruped posture... receding forehead, the sodden animal aspect with its limited and coarse ranges of expression... alien to progress, an incorrigible straggler..."
Pollard actually believed that blacks had different blood, and that continual intermarriage would result by the 4th generation in a sterility similar to that of mules:
"There is an ultimate and absolute barrier beyond which 'mulattoism' cannot exist."
Finally, we recall point #1 of regaining the lost cause:
"We reach in the Caucasian... the perfection of the highest form of human creation."
"The Lost Cause Regained" is sprinkled throughout with such opinionated "gems." In the Introduction alone, Pollard calls Pres. Davis "as ignorant as a child." Vice-Pres. Stephens was "a masked and mysterious figure" and the rest of the Confederate Government "a cabinet of dummies." Is there any wonder then (to his mind) that the North ultimately triumphed? It wasn't the superiority of numbers and manufacture that eventually won on the battlefield-- the North wasn't superior AT ALL-- no, it was ignorant Jeff and his dummies who ruined everything.
This book differs from Pollard's two previous works (A SOUTHERN HISTORY OF THE WAR and THE LOST CAUSE) in its detailed descriptions of superior/inferior-based race relations. Where it sounds a similar note however is when he looks to place blame for the Civil War's outcome. Pollard's views at these moments read like the ill-informed prating of a frustrated loser.