On this blog, I plan to periodically give a list of interesting books I’m reading, with short notes on my thoughts about them. In the future I may also do reviews of books I’ve finished, but for now it’s works in progress.
I. A South-Side View of Slavery, by Rev. Nehemiah Adams
I’m about half done with this. It was written by a Boston abolitionist, and yet turned out, against all odds, relatively favorable to the South’s ‘peculiar institution’. Rev. Adams was anything but blind to slavery’s abuses, but he was also a firm counterweight to the ideologues in his movement who would have put the South to fire and sword to emancipate the Negro. A fascinating read and well-worth your time. The Radish has an excellent introduction to the book if you’re interested.
II. A Defence of Virginia, and Through Her, of the South, by Rev. R.L. Dabney
Robert Louis Dabney was a Southern Presbyterian theologian and a Confederate army chaplain. He was, according to La Wik, also the chief of staff and biographer to General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. I was introduced to his thought through Faith and Heritage‘s series Dabney on Sunday, but was brought to pay attention to him through frequent references to his predictions at Mencius Moldbug’s blog Unqualified Reservations. Unlike Rev. Adams, Rev. Dabney’s bias is entirely in favor of Southern slavery, which must be borne in mind when reading his work. Nevertheless, it is fascinating and well worth your time. It can be downloaded for free at the Dabney Archive.
III. Patriarcha, or the Natural Power of Kings, by Sir Robert Filmer.
Sir Robert Filmer was a seventeenth-century Tory and a defender of the Divine Right of Kings. I haven’t read enough of his work to render a complete judgment as yet, but I am certainly intrigued by anything that offers an alternative to the historically bankrupt ‘social contract’ theory.