Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Collected Writings of Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Civil War

Ta-Nehisi Coates is not only one of the finest writers in the blogosphere -- one who writes with compassion, sophistication and grace about "how the mysterious mixture [of humankind] behaves under the varying experiments of Time" (to use George Eliot's phrase) -- but he's also an autodidactorial historian, who has been publicly teaching himself along with his readers about the Civil War for several years now. And in addition to his generous presentation of interesting history, his writing on it -- the crispness of his prose, the sureness of his judgment -- has simply been amazing. Coates is doing, in other words, some of the best writing on history you can find today.

And now someone has compiled a complete list of all Ta-Nehisi Coates's Civil War Posts, with links, ranging from his first post on the topic, from a little over two years ago, to his most recent, from yesterday.

And there was much rejoicing.

I haven't read all of them myself -- there's just too much, and my blog reading is too sporadic. But those I have read (quite a few) are fabulous, and I intend to read the rest as I have a desire to procrastinate the time.

In the meantime, if you want a few to start with -- just to get a sense of why I'm singing his praises -- I recommend this post on The Ghost of Bobby Lee as a good place to start.

Update (August, 2011): That link seems to have gone dead. But this is a separate compilation of Coates's civil war writings -- indeed, a better one, since it has annotations on (some of) the posts to indicate what they're about. So go, read, enjoy.

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