These are not compassionate times—not in the public square, and not in all too much of our increasingly chaotic private life, though I think many people are trying. Mr. Berry knows this very well. And so about halfway through the book, he takes a few pages to acknowledge he was told, more than once, that his reputation would be marred by showing any sympathy to the life or plight of any Confederate.
Disenthralling ourselves from the past is an American tradition, and gaining a clear-eyed vision of the flaws and achievements of previous generations is itself part of our heritage.
Check out this exceptionally fine speech http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronald-maxwell/on-the-occasion-of-presid_b_212674.html by film director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals), who refused to allow William ("inherited utility monopoly...