And Then I Said…

by Bill Kauffman on May 20, 2013 · 8 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Short

I am interviewed about the movie Copperhead by the excellent Gerald Russello in The University Bookman.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Dave Lull May 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

“Novelist Bill Kauffman discusses the new film Copperhead, about the Civil War opposition in upstate New York; the small “r” front-porch brand of republicanism; our lost tradition of Christian pacifism; and how you can help get Copperhead playing in a theater near you.”

avatar Siarlys Jenkins May 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm

“Copperhead” sounds like a movie worth seeing — and I say that as someone who sees the hand of God moving through the history of the Civil War, much as Abraham Lincoln suggests in his Second Inaugural Address. That’s not a linear interpretation: it leads to the conclusion that nobody did more to make the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment possible than Robert E. Lee. But I do thank God that we have those amendments, for many reasons besides slavery.

You describe your co-maker of the movie as “our foremost cinematic interpreter of the Civil War.” I have a DVD of “Gods and Generals,” and I found it disappointing, compared to the balanced presentation of the book. The movie focuses disproportionately on Stonewall Jackson, giving short shrift to Winfield Scott Hancock, and presents a rather flat Robert E. Lee. You would never guess how conflicted he was from the way, in the movie, he turns down Scott’s offer of command.

Its been a while since I watched “Gettysburg.” As far as I recall, the movie conflates Seminary Ridge and Cemetery Ridge, perhaps because there simply wasn’t sufficient time to do a movie that covered the full course of the actual battle. In an age when movie watchers think they can learn how history really happened from the action on the screen, distortions like this can have big consequences. To really understand the Civil War, there is still no substitute for Bruce Catton.

avatar SteveE May 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

@SJ: I rarely visit this site nowadays; reading your comment reminds me why.

avatar Rafaela May 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

What you typed was very logical. However, consider this, what if you were to create a awesome
title? I ain’t suggesting your content is not good, but suppose you added a title to possibly get a person’s attention?
I mean And Then I Said… – Front Porch Republic is a little plain.

You should glance at Yahoo’s front page and note how they write post titles to grab viewers to click. You might add a video or a related pic or two to get readers interested about everything’ve
got to say. In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

avatar Tom G. May 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Congrats Bill! If Sacheen Littlefeather isn’t available to decline the Oscar for you, I’d be happy to fly out to L.A. for you and tell them “Thanks, but no thanks.”

avatar Bill Kauffman May 30, 2013 at 6:41 am

Thanks, Tom. Book that ticket now. And congrats on your new Rowell book; I look forward to reading it.

avatar Siarlys Jenkins May 31, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Steve E., pray tell, say on.

avatar Steve E June 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

So Julia Ward Howe is posting comments here…who knew?

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