Treatment of Shelby Foote in Wikipedia

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#1
Hi everyone. Last night I finished the last of Foote's three volumes. Not knowing much about the author, except for remembering him from Ken Burns' documentary and watching a lengthy CSPAN interview,

https://www.c-span.org/video/?165823-1/depth-shelby-foote

… I was curious to know more about him. So of course when you google anyone of note, the first thing that pops up is Wikipedia's bio, so I read that. And I thought it was very unfair and off-point. The bio seems to fault him for failing to write at length about the evils of slavery and the politics of the era. But his 3000 page work was about the battles and men who fought them. He discusses political events only intermittently and as is necessary to move the story along.

The Wikipedia write up also selectively takes short quotes of what Foote said about NB Forrest, the KKK, etc, which I suspect were taken very much out of context to make him appear to be a racist. Yes, he was a Southerner to the bone, and many of his views today are not considered politically correct. But I will say this: I lived in the Mississippi Delta for three years and I got to know a lot of people there. Foote was born and raised there, and I can tell you that for that area, and for the time in which he lived there, Foote was, if anything, rather liberal and open-minded.

Does anyone have an opinion on this subject?
 

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#2
Keep in mind that Wikipedia is created and maintained by volunteers around the world and this may only be the opinion of one of those volunteers. And while useful information can be gained through the use of Wikipedia, any information gained should be compared to information on the same subject elsewhere.
 
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zburkett

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#3
Among the problems of the modern history writers is many of them only view things through modern thought. An example, though not our civil War, a friend and I were discussing Kipling's "Gunga Din". His daughter, a thirtyish international journalist, had not read it. When it was recited, her first comment was Kipling was a racist. She had no understanding that at the time it was written "you are a better man than I am Gunga Din" was radically progressive. To modern children who think they know everything' Foote saying that Forrest was one of the two most interesting characters of the war is the same as endorsing the KKK. I fear that is something we will pay for in the future.
 
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#4
Not being a real "conspiracy theorist" advocate, I still can't help but believe there was a concerted effort somewhere within the Wikipedia "volunteer" brigade to paint as many notable Southerner's with respect to the Civil War, in as negative a light as possible. I have noted the same thing in the bio of a man I am very familiar with, John Marshall Stone, who was the Colonel of the 2nd Mississippi and later Governor of the state of Mississippi. There are some very "biased" (and I'm being nice) things said about him on his Wikipedia page.
 

DixieRifles

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#6
But I will say this: I lived in the Mississippi Delta for three years and I got to know a lot of people there.
Did you know me??

Welcome.

I still can't help but believe there was a concerted effort somewhere within the Wikipedia "volunteer" brigade to paint as many notable Southerner's with respect to the Civil War, in as negative a light as possible.
You reckon??
 

James N.

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#7
Welcome to the forums from the host of a forum dedicated to another bonafide Southern Hero, Stonewall Jackson, who has likewise come under the same sort of negative criticism because according to the new crop of "experts" He fought for slavery!
 

Joshism

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#8
Wikipedia is supposed to an encyclopedia thus based mostly off secondary sources. Entries are not supposed to contain original research.

So having a section on Foote's bio about claims of racism is valid as long as there's an outside source addressing the issue. The person editing the entry should not be the one doing to criticism themselves.

To modern children who think they know everything' Foote saying that Forrest was one of the two most interesting characters of the war is the same as endorsing the KKK.
Because someone or something is interesting, exciting, or even entertaining doesn't mean it's actually good.
 

Harvey Johnson

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#11
Regarding the Civil War and Reconstruction, Wikipedia is a proxy for the one-sided interpretations of modern academics. Additionally, it's hard to get Wikipedia to change anything that is inconsistent with such viewpoints.

Consider, for example, Wikipedia's United Daughter's of The Confederacy article. It repeatedly claims that the UDC promotes white supremacy. Not until last November did the editors permit even a single reference to UDC's denial, despite the fact that their denial has been on the front page of their website for nearly three years.
 
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19thGeorgia

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#13
Not being a real "conspiracy theorist" advocate, I still can't help but believe there was a concerted effort somewhere within the Wikipedia "volunteer" brigade to paint as many notable Southerner's with respect to the Civil War, in as negative a light as possible....
They've been hard at work the last few years to paint anyone and anything Confederate with the "white supremacy" brush. A prime example is the Confederate Monuments and Memorials article. It's been around for nearly 10 years, but only in the last two has it been smeared with the racist labels.

Yes, for nearly eight years the article existed without a peep about white supremacy and now they are "monuments to white supremacy."
 

Joshism

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#14
Some people have been bashing Foote on this forum for the nearly 10 years I’ve been here. It all comes down to one thing, he was a Southerner and they just don’t like him or his accent. I understand as I feel the same about most Yankees I come in contact with.
Criticism of Foote on this forum has almost always been about:

1. The historical merits of his trilogy, which lacks citations and was written by someone who by their own admission was a novelist not a historian.

2. The accuracy of a couple specific things he said in the Ken Burns documentary.

3. How being a diehard Southerner influenced his work.

For the record, I'm not a fan of Southern accents or accents in general (maybe British), but Bah-stan and New Yawk accents are among the worst and often anong most incomprehensible.
 

zburkett

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#15
When I was making commercials the saying was accents could go North or East but they could not come South or West. The safe accent we called the Jonny Carson accent. It gets real difficult when you are working with a language you don't speak. You better have an expert who knows which accent offends whom. What is most offensive is when someone is faking an accent. That always offends the people who really have it. Some of the old Civil War movies like "Red Badge of Courage" get real interesting. I've wondered what Buford really sounded like since Sam Elliot in "Gettysburg".
 

thomas aagaard

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#18
Consider, for example, Wikipedia's United Daughter's of The Confederacy article. It repeatedly claims that the UDC promotes white supremacy. .
First of all, They did. (note the past tense)
Back when the first generation was active they where very clear about their goal in their own publications. It was all about myth making... and suppressing actual history. (something they where pretty honest about in their internal publications)

2nd. the page don't claim the UDC promote white supremacy, it say that many historians say so. Two different things.
And that claim is fact. Many historians do claim this. As is quoted on the page.
 



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