CitationCoclanis, Peter A. (2011). Lee's Lieutenants: The American South and the World. The Journal of the Historical Society, 11(4), 441-461.
AbstractSome southern historians get a lot of media attention, and others do not. I fall into the latter category for a variety of reasons, one—but only one—of which relates to the fact that I work in the small, somewhat technical field of economic history. For example, while some scholars get rung up all the time by reporters from major newspapers looking for pithy sound bites, the only time that the New York Times has ever called me—I swear this is true—was in 1992 to see if I had anything profound to say in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the crossing of the Rio Grande by the boll weevil!
I did have one other moment in the sun, as it were, in 1999, when I coauthored a piece in a collection called Lee's Lieutenants. All of a sudden, colleagues in southern history, people who in the past wouldn't know me from a Gini coefficient, began to contact me about my seemingly radical change in scholarly direction. Since when did you get interested in “the War,” they’d ask? Which Rebel commander did I write on? Was this publication a signal that some press would soon be reissuing Douglas Southall Freeman's famous three-volume work, Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command, originally published in the early 1940s, from which study the book in which my essay appeared obviously took its name?