I ask these questions because of a comment that the singer Bob Dylan made in a recent Rolling Stone interview that "If slavery had been given up in a more peaceful way, America would be far ahead today."
This was the point of a recent LRC article of mine entitled "Lincoln's Greatest Failure," about Lincoln's failure to end slavery in the way that all the rest of the world did during his time — peacefully. It also echoes the words I expressed on page 218 of The Real Lincoln: “General Donn Piatt, a close personal friend of Lincoln's who became a Washington, D.C. newspaper editor after the war, went so far as to say that ‘all race antagonism [in the South] came from carpetbaggers using the Negro votes to get their fingers into the Treasury.’ Republican Reconstruction policies so poisoned race relations in the South that their divisive effects are still felt today.”
I also wrote in the preceding paragraph of how “the ex-slaves were used as political pawns by Northern Republicans. They helped the Republican Party loot and plunder its way through the state and local governments of the South for twelve years in return for a pittance in bribes and political patronage. Southerners reacted to this plunder by venting their frustrations on the ex-slaves. The creation of the Ku Klux Klan was an attempt to intimidate the ex-slaves so that they didn't vote and was a direct response to the activities of the federally-funded Union Leagues..”
On page 175 of The Real Lincoln I also wrote: “The one unequivocal good that came of Lincoln's war was the abolition of slavery. But the way in which Lincoln chose to end slavery could not possibly have been more divisive..”
Anyone have Bob Dylan's address? I'd like to send him autographed copies of The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked.