Gary Gallagher’s Self Serving Column on Blogging

Written on:May 31, 2012
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Just got a chance to read the June 2012 issue of the Civil War Times and in particular Dr. Gary Gallagher’s “Blue & Gray” column on Bloggers. I must admit I found his editorial to be self-righteous and self-serving. This was not a serious take on Civil War blogging. (I think the Civil War Times has done a more serious take on Civil War blogging before, or am I confusing that with another publication?)

Gallagher starts off his piece on BLOGGING with the following apology: “I am not a blogger.” So he is the wrong person to be writing about Blogging?!

But Gallagher had no interest in writing a serious editorial on the Civil War Blogger. He uses the “democratization of history” theme with regard to blogging as a feint, a smokescreen for his real goal which was to bemoan Civil War blogging in general and to attack those with whom he has issues. He lumps us into very simplistic categories or genres (“focus and quality” were his words) but then focuses really on those couple blogs he has issues with. If you knew nothing about the Civil War Blogger you could not finish this piece and have much motivation to check us out. Yes, he throws in a couple lines about how useful some blogs are; but sorry, not falling for it.

He finishes his editorial with another apology, but more a final gut punch to our community when he writes:

Overall, my limited engagement with the Civil War blogging world has left me alternately informed, puzzled and, on occasion, genuinely amused.

I really enjoy Gallagher’s work and have several of his books. At the end of the day, this editorial does not matter I will still enjoy the Civil War Times and Gallagher’s future books, just really disappointing. He could have focused on some of the excellent Civil War blogs out there. But that’s the nature of history and historians, it’s all about emphasis and focus. I could focus on different aspects of the Civil War blogger and give the reader a vastly different perception of the community. Correct?

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