Why we’re coming apart, and how we might come together again.
New fractures are forming within the American evangelical movement, fractures that do not run along the usual regional, denominational, ethnic, or political lines. Couples, families, friends, and congregations once united in their commitment to Christ are now dividing over seemingly irreconcilable views of the world. In fact, they are not merely dividing but becoming incomprehensible to one another.
Recently, a group of my college friends, all raised and nurtured in healthy evangelical families and congregations, reconnected online in search of understanding. One person mourned that she could no longer understand her parents or how their views of the world had so suddenly and painfully shifted. Another described friends who were demographically identical, who had once stood beside him on practically every issue, but who now promoted ideas he found shocking. Still another said her church was breaking up, driven apart by mutual suspicion and misunderstanding.
“These were my people,” one said, “but now I don’t know who they are, or maybe I don’t know who I am.”
What do you do when you feel you’re losing the people you love to a false reality? What do you do with the humbling truth that they have precisely the same fear about you?
The quandary is not unique to evangelicals. But fellow believers who once stood shoulder to shoulder now find that tectonic shifts have thrust them apart, their continents are separating, and they cannot find a bridge back to common ground. How could our views of reality diverge so dramatically—and is there anything we can do to draw together again?
The plausibility curve and the information curve
Among the most persistent interests of my academic career was the question of how people form beliefs. Not how they should form beliefs, in some idealized vision of perfected rationality, but how they actually form beliefs as embodied creatures embedded in communities and cultures. I want to introduce a simple conceptual tool, influenced in part by the work of Peter Berger, that may help us understand what is happening.
Imagine a horizontal plane that curves downward into a bowl, rises back again, and returns to a horizontal plane. The curve, from one end of the bowl to the other, represents the range of claims an individual finds believable. Let’s call it a plausibility curve. Claims that fall in the center of the curve will be perceived as most plausible; they require little evidence or argumentation before an individual will consent to believe. Claims falling near the edges are increasingly implausible as they deviate from the center, requiring progressively more persuasion. Claims falling entirely outside the plausibility curve are beyond the range of what a person might believe at a given point in time, and no amount of evidence or logic will be sufficient.
What determines the plausibility of a given claim is how well it conforms to what an individual experiences, already believes, and wants to believe. The full range of a person’s beliefs is rather like a photomosaic (see an example here): Thousands of experiences and perceptions of reality are joined together, and out of those thousands emerge larger patterns and impressions, higher-order beliefs about the nature of reality, the grand narratives of history, the nature of right and wrong, good and evil, and so forth. Attempts to change a single belief can feel fruitless when it is embedded in countless others. Where does one begin to address a thousand interlocking disagreements at once? Evidence to the contrary is almost irrelevant when a claim “fits” with an entire network of reinforcing beliefs. This is part of what gives a plausibility curve its enduring strength and resistance to change.
Desire plays a particularly complicated role in the plausibility curve. We may desire not to believe a claim because it would separate us from those we love, confront us with painful truths, require a change in our behavior, impose a social cost, or so on. We may desire to believe a certain claim because it would be fashionable, confirm our prejudices, set us apart from those around us, anger our parents, or for countless other reasons. We will require more persuasion for claims we do not want to believe, and less for those we do.
Like the Overton window in political theory, a plausibility curve can expand, contract, and shift. Friends or family members whose plausibility curves were once identical may find that they diverge over the course of time. Claims one person finds immediately plausible are almost inconceivable to the other. But how does this happen? That’s where the information curve comes in.
Imagine a mirror-image bowl above the plausibility curve. This is the information curve, and it reflects the individual’s external sources of information about the world—such as communities, authorities, and media. Those sources in the center of the information curve are deemed most trustworthy; claims that come from these sources are accepted almost without question. Sources of information on the outer ends of the bowl are considered less trustworthy, so their claims will be held up to greater scrutiny. Sources outside the curve entirely are, at least for this individual, so lacking in credibility that their claims are dismissed out of hand.
The center of the information curve will generally align with the center of the plausibility curve. The relationship is mutually reinforcing. Sources are considered more trustworthy when they deliver claims we find plausible, and claims are considered more plausible when they come from sources we trust. A source of information that consistently delivers claims in the center of the plausibility curve will come to be believed implicitly.
Change can begin on the level of the plausibility curve. Perhaps an individual joins a religious community and finds it is more loving and reasonable than she had expected. She will no longer find it plausible when a source claims that all religious communities are irrational and prejudiced, and this will gradually shift her information curve in favor of more reliable sources. Or another person experiences the loss of a child, and no longer desires to believe that death is the end of consciousness. He is more open to other claims, expands his sources of information, and slowly his beliefs shift.
Change can also begin on the level of the information curve. An individual raised in a certain community with well-established authorities, such as her parents and pastors, goes to college and is introduced to new communities and authorities. If she judges them to be trustworthy sources of information, this new information curve will likely shift her plausibility curve. As her set of beliefs changes, she may even reach a point where the sources that once supplied most of her beliefs are no longer considered trustworthy at all. Or imagine a person who has lived his entire life consuming far-left media sources. He begins to listen to conservative media sources and finds their claims resonate with his experience—only slightly at first, but in increasing measure. Gradually he consumes more and more conservative media, expanding or shifting his information curve, and this in turn expands or shifts his plausibility curve. He may reach a point where his broader perceptions of the world—the deeper forces at work in history, the optimal ways of organizing societies and economies, the forces for good and evil in the world—have been wholly overturned.
Consider the 9/11 Truth movement and the QAnon movement. Most Americans will find the notion that the Bush administration orchestrated a massive terrorist attack in order to invade the Middle East and enrich their friends in the oil industry, or that global liberal elites would construct an international child trafficking operation for the purpose of pedophilia and cannibalism, beyond the bounds of their plausibility curve. Others, however, will find that one conspiracy or the other resonates with their plausibility curve, or their information curve may shift over time in such a way that brings their plausibility curve with it. Claims that once seemed impossible to contemplate came to appear conceivable, then plausible, then reasonable, and finally self-evident. Of course conservatives would sacrifice thousands of innocent lives to justify a “war for oil” because conservatives are greedy and that’s what conservatives do. Of course liberals would sacrifice thousands of children in order to advance their own health and power because liberals are perverse and that’s what liberals do.
As a final definitional note, let’s call the whole structure, the plausibility curve and the information curve, an informational world. An informational world encompasses how an individual or a community of individuals receives and processes information. Differing informational worlds will have differing facts and sources. Our challenge today is that we occupy multiple informational worlds with little in common and much hostility between them.
What does all of this have to do with the evangelical movement? A great deal.
The evangelical crises
The American evangelical movement has never been comprised of a single community. Depending on the criteria, estimates generally put the number of American evangelicals at 80-100 million. Even if we split the difference at 90 million, this would make the American evangelical population larger than every European nation save Russia. It is also diverse, reaching across all regions, races, and socioeconomic levels. What held the movement together historically was not only a shared set of moral and theological commitments, but a broadly similar view of the world and common sources of information. Their plausibility curves and information curves largely overlapped. There were some matters on which they differed, but the ground they shared in the middle served as a basis of mutual understanding and fellowship.
This sense of commonality grew increasingly strained as groups not formerly identified as evangelical came to be lumped together, defining the category “evangelical” less in theological terms and more in social, cultural, and political terms. This broader evangelical movement today is dividing into separate communities that still hold some moral and theological commitments in common but differ dramatically on their sources of information and their broader view of the world. Their informational worlds have little overlap. They can only discuss a narrow range of topics if they do not want to fall into painful and exasperated disagreement.
One group within American evangelicalism believes our religious liberties have never been more firmly established; another that they have never been at greater risk. One group believes racism is still systemic in American society; another that the “systemic racism” push is a progressive program to redistribute wealth and power to angry radicals. One is more concerned with the insurrection at the Capitol; another with the riots that followed the killing of George Floyd. One believes the Trump presidency was generationally damaging to Christian witness; another that it was enormously beneficial. One believes the former president attempted a coup; another that the Democrats stole the election. One believes masks and vaccines are marks of Christian love; another that the rejection of the same is a mark of Christian courage.
There are countless groups in between, of course, but these examples illustrate the tension: We occupy the same reality but starkly different worlds. There is a real question whether these worlds can (or should) draw back together again. This is a critical moment for our movement.
What, then, can be done? The model itself suggests where to start. If we move the information curves toward a common center, the plausibility curve will follow. Information comes through three sources: media, authorities, and community. One reason for our disunity is that these three sources are in crisis in American evangelicalism. I will only briefly outline these points.
First, the crisis of media is acute. Even as media today has grown more powerful and pervasive, it has also grown more fragmented and polarizing. The dynamics of modern media reward content that is immediate, angry, and hyperbolic, rendering the media into a marketplace for scorn sellers and hate merchants. Evangelicals find themselves torn between social media platforms and legacy media sources that openly advocate progressive causes and cancel conservative voices and far-right sources that traffic in paranoia and misinformation. In short, the digital media landscape has evolved to profit from our vices more than our virtues, and it has become incredibly effective at dividing audiences into hermetic media spheres that deliver only the information and commentary that confirms the audiences’ anxieties and antipathies.
This presents an extraordinary challenge for Christian discipleship. Media consumption has been climbing for years, and it soared amid the pandemic. Members of our congregations may spend a few hours a week in the Word of God (which should always be the Christian’s most important source of information and authority) but 40 hours or more mainlining the animosities of the day. Once the information curve begins a leftward or rightward drift, the algorithms of digital media and the manipulations of politicians and profiteers accelerate the momentum. Soon Christian communities that once shared a broader view of the world find they only agree on the bare essentials of faith. It will be difficult to address other parts of the information curve until we have brought some semblance of sanity into our media consumption. The longer we live in separate media worlds, the deeper and broader our divisions will become. The longer we give ourselves to media gluttony, skimping on the deeper nourishment that cultivates Christ within us, the less we will have in common.
The media crisis reaches across the whole of society, but the evangelical movement also faces an authority crisis of its own making. A generation of evangelical leaders who commanded immense respect, at least across the broad middle of American evangelicalism, have passed away. The current generation of evangelical institutional leaders, though markedly more diverse than their forebears, struggle to rise above the rampant ideological othering of our time. Moreover, the movement has seen countless leaders fall from grace in spectacularly destructive ways. At the same time, we have seen the rise of the celebrity pastor. It was once the case that a long obedience in the same direction, a life of humble study and service, earned a person a modicum of spiritual authority and a modest living. Today, a dashing profile and a talent for self-promotion can earn wealth and stardom in the Christian celebrity marketplace.
The consequence is disillusionment and division. While younger generations head for the exits, those who remain in our churches become further entrenched in their own ideological camps. If it is ever to be true again that broadly respected authorities form an important part of our shared information curve, it will be because we turn from a culture of celebrity to a culture of sanctification, where leadership is less about building a platform and more about carrying the cross of Christ. It will be because we remember the words of Jesus that “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matt. 20:26). It will also be because we relearn how to listen to men and women of wisdom, leaders as well as neighbors, without crucifying them over political differences.
The third way to shift the information curve is to address our crisis of community. Community is essential to Christian life. It deepens our knowledge of the Word, forges our shared identity in Christ, cultivates Christian character, and disciples our young. Yet the pressures, temptations, and glowing distractions of contemporary life have strained the ties that bind us, replacing the warmth and depth of incarnate community with a cold digital imitation. The pandemic has only deepened our isolation, causing many to look outside their churches to political tribes or conspiracist communities for a sense of purpose and belonging. Further, the hyper-politicization of the American evangelical movement has led to a political sorting. Congregants who do not like their pastors’ stances depart for other churches whose politics are the same as theirs. But congregations comprised of individuals whose informational worlds are nearly identical will tend toward rigidity and increasing radicalism—what Cass Sunstein calls the Law of Group Polarization.
Rather than withdrawing into communities of common loathing, the church should be offering a community of common love, a sanctuary from the fragmentation and polarization, from the loneliness and isolation of the present moment. The church should model what it means to care for one another in spite of our differences on social and political matters and affirm the incomparably deeper rootedness of our identity in Christ.
Michael O. Emerson, a sociologist and scholar of American religion at the University of Illinois at Chicago, recently said he has studied religious congregations for 30 years but has “never seen” such an extraordinary level of conflict. “What is different now?” he asked. “The conflict is over entire worldviews—politics, race, how we are to be in the world, and even what religion and faith are for.” What I have offered above is a model for understanding how we have come to such a pass, and a mere suggestion of how we might begin the generational project before us.
We are not without hope. Lies ring hollow at the end of the day. Hatred is a poor imitation of purpose, celebrity a poor replacement for wisdom, and political tribes a poor comparison to authentic Christian community. We are a people defined by the resurrection of the Son of God. We are called to be redeemers and reconcilers.
So perhaps we can begin to build bridges across our informational worlds. Perhaps we can nurture a healthy media ecosystem that offers a balanced view of the world and a generous conversation about it. Perhaps we can restore a culture of leadership defined by humility over celebrity and integrity over influence. Perhaps we can invite those who have found counterfeit community in their political tribes to rediscover a richer and more robust community in Christ. All of these things will be essential to rebuilding a shared understanding of the world God created and what it means to follow Christ within it.
Post-Jesus Christians are “Christians” who have decided to postpone following Jesus’s teaching until Jesus returns and ushers in 1000 years of peace.
Post-Jesus Christians hold that Jesus’s teachings do not need to be followed in our present era if they are a hindrance to obtaining the power they fear they need to help usher in the Kingdom of God.
Post-Jesus Christians (privately) hold that Jesus’s teachings are a nice thing to follow when dealing with the in-group of their fellow PJCs but may be disregarded when dealing with non-PJC neighbors.
Prophecy: What God Can Do For You
Post-Jesus Christians talk a lot about about prophecy, and unlike the Biblical Prophets, when they do, they punch down, rather than up:
You will know them by their fruit, because they only have one key message – God is going to “enlarge your tent” and “expand your influence“, he’s going to “give you great favor” and “bless you mightily”.
Later Craig Greenfield writes:
In Biblical times, there were two types of prophets.
- Firstly, there were those who feasted at the King’s table because they had been co-opted to speak well of evil leaders (1 Kings 18:19). They were always bringing these smarmy words of favor and influence and prosperity to the king. And the king lapped it up. Like a sucka.
- Secondly, there were those who were exiled to the caves, or beheaded (like John the Baptist) because they spoke out about the injustice or immorality of their leaders (1 Kings 18:4). The king didn’t like them very much. He tried to have them knee-capped.
An Inversion of Ben Franklin’s Morality
While many Post-Jesus Christians appeal to a historical “Christian Nation” , Post-Jesus Christians appear to be an inversion of founding father Ben Franklin, who in historian John Fea’s description, wanted to discard Jesus’s Divinity but retain and celebrate his ethical teachings.
Post-Jesus Christians value Jesus’s divinity, particularly his role of sacrificial lamb (for their salvation), but are eager to discard Jesus’s ethical teachings.
So what does this look like in practice?
Below are public quotations from prominent Court Evangelicals. These quotations are less extreme that I would expect to hear in private. A friend of mine speaks to supporters in private. He reports that they would (privately) celebrate the stuffing of election ballots in favor of their preferred candidate as a righteous act.
1) Court Evangelical: Anti-Sermon on the Mount
John Fea wrote about a conversation he had with Rob Schenck for the “Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer” podcast @ 19:27. Here’s a quote from Schenck talking about a conversation he had with a prominent evangelical at the Trump Inaugural Prayer Service:I must tell you something of a confession here. I was present at the Trump Inaugural Prayer Service held at the National Cathedral — not the smaller one held at Saint John’s Episcopal church across from the white house, but the one following the inauguration at the National Cathedral and I saw one of the notable Evangelicals that you’ve named in in our conversation. One of them, I won’t say which and we had it short exchange and I, I suggested to him that we needed to recalibrate our moral compass and that one way to do that might be to return to The Sermon on the Mount as a reference point. And he very quickly barked back at me. “We don’t have time for that. We have serious work to do.”
2) Jerry Falwell Jr: Anti-Turn the other cheek
We have blogged about Liberty University’s Falkirk Center before. The more I learn about this center the more I am convinced that it does not represent the teachings of Christianity. Recently someone on Twitter pointed out this paragraph in the Falkirk Center mission statement:
Bemoaning the rise of leftism is no longer enough, and turning the other cheek in our personal relationships with our neighbors as Jesus taught while abdicating our responsibilities on the cultural battlefield is no longer sufficient. There is too much at stake in the battle for the soul of our nation. Bold, unapologetic action and initiative is needed, which is why we just launched the Falkirk Center, a think tank dedicated to restoring and defending American ideals and Judeo-Christian values in all aspects of life.
John Fea’s Update:
Several smart people have suggested that I may have misread Liberty University’s statement. They have said that the Falkirk Center was not denying that Jesus’s call to “turn the other cheek” is “insufficient” for individuals. Instead, the Falkirk Center is saying that we should not “abdicate” (the key word here) our responsibilities to engage on the “culture battlefield.”
I think this is a fair criticism, and I indeed may have misread the statement. For that I am sorry. But I don’t think I want to back away too strongly from what I wrote above. While several have correctly pointed out that Liberty University is not saying Jesus’s command to “turn the other cheek” is “insufficient” for individual Christians, the Falkirk Center does seem to be suggesting that it is “insufficient” for culture engagement.
Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham both received the same vision for America and the church in 1976. It was the 7 sphere’s of influence that God wanted to take for the kingdom. This series will deal with how we can do that through kingdom authority.
00:00it’s been a long time since we were here00:02together and so Gettysburg is our topic00:06as I’m sure you remember and I want to00:09start tonight by seeing if there are00:10things that have occurred to you in this00:13interval that you want to bring up any00:14leftover things from last time or any00:17nagging problems or aggravating00:22statements that you’ve been mulling over00:25since we last met Scott you look like00:27you’re assuming the asking a question00:29position is that correct I do have aquestion I one of the things that I aslike a historian of the Civil War andyou kind of touched on this in the essayyou wrote on here the struggle to likefigure out who to believe and who didnot believe and how you decipher allthese different accounts and I feel likein this book which one are you pointingto Alexander yeah versus some of otherthings we’ve read he has a differentperspective on like whether they shouldhave continued the battle on the firstday and that he’d be he offered theopposite point of view I thought that ina number of instances than what we readand I struggle especially because a lotof this stuff is written so far afterthe war to decipher like you know andparticularly you who’ve studied a moreasking how do you understand and how doyou kind of consolidate two differentperspectives and who’s right and youwould actually have you you read a lotof things and play them off against oneanother and make judgments about whichpeople which historical actors tend tobe reliable and which are liars that anumber of them are just in better Liarsthey lie about everything he is he is Itold you before everybody else came in Ithink he is the single best writer aboutthe war among all the people whoexperienced the war and wrote about it02:04from the Confederate side and I think on02:06the Union side the only one02:08better than geniuses u.s. grant us grant02:11and Porter Alexander are the two best02:12memoirs military memoirs of the Civil02:15War he wrote another book as you know if02:18you read the introduction in here02:20carefully that he published in nineteen02:21seven and Alexander did called military02:23memoirs of a Confederate it’s so good02:25that it has never been out of print02:27two hundred and thirteen years later02:28that books never gone out of print02:30he wrote this one however before he02:33wrote military memoirs and military02:34memoirs has a misleading title because02:37it isn’t a memoir it’s really a history02:39of the Army of Northern Virginia02:41he wrote this one first wrote it only02:44for his children which gives him a tone02:49that simply is almost never present in a02:52memoir as you know he’s very hard on02:55robert e lee in various places in there02:57almost no former Confederates were hard02:58on these very hard on Stonewall Jackson03:00he quotes profanity he quotes instances03:03of cowardice he’s absolutely up front03:06about Confederate soldiers who killed03:07black soldiers who tried to surrender at03:10the Battle of the crater he’s not very03:11matter-of-fact they killed them they03:13came they heard there were black03:14soldiers they came from way down at the03:16other end of the line so they could kill03:17one of them it’s it’s it’s an amazing03:21book in many ways and it was a03:23revelation to me not only to me but to03:26people who knew Alexander well and in03:28the literature very well I think that03:30has become the single most quoted book03:34on Lee’s army by anyone who was in his03:37army and it’s just because he’s I’ve03:40been able to check lots of things over03:41the years his descriptions and so forth03:43and he he’s amazingly accurate was an03:47engineer he’s really smart he’s03:48obnoxious Lee smart can tell by reading03:50this that he was a pain to a lot of03:52people because he was smarter than they03:54were and they knew he was smarter than03:55they were one of one of those kinds of03:57people we all know those people we maybe04:00those people but anyway he’s one of04:02those people and he had there’s a04:04description in there of a place on the04:06North Anna River he was at that place04:08one time for 30 minutes in his life and04:12he described how the Federals started to04:14shell that position and how the house04:16had recessed windows04:20said they thought they were about a foot04:21and he jumped up in one of the windows04:23and pressed himself against that as the04:26shells came in and one of the union04:27shells hit a chimney that was up to to04:30his left and destroyed part of it and we04:33took a tour there this has been 15 years04:35ago now got to that house and it’s04:38exactly as he described it recessed04:41windows a chimney with a repair on the04:44top of it right to the top left of the04:46window which was on the side of the04:48house where he said he was it’s just04:49astonishing of what his memory was like04:52but he also had a diary that helped jog04:55his memory04:56and he had letters that he’d written04:57during the war that he also used when he04:59wrote this so it’s so it’s an amazing05:02account that doesn’t mean it’s05:03infallible and it doesn’t mean there’s05:05no second guessing there’s always second05:06guessing in a memoir even more generally05:09I mean it talks about in the the other05:11book about how even in the war council05:14would need like there were all the05:17different people who were there and have05:19first-hand accounts have dipped recount05:21like the weather men had reservations05:25about and they don’t all agree and if05:31three weeks from now somebody looked all05:34of us up and asked us to give them an05:36account of this class meeting there05:39would be many things that would be05:41difficult to reconcile we would you’re05:43all going to very different memories of05:44what goes on in here you hear different05:47things you process different things05:49differently and you’ll just have05:51different memories I think I’m very05:53suspicious of oral histories as a05:55category of evidence they’ve they’re05:58very much used now they’re going to be06:00used more and more because people don’t06:01write letters anymore and they try to06:03destroy email even though they really06:05can’t but they get it beyond the reach06:06of historians so it’s going to be a real06:11problem I think an even bigger problem06:13than it has been in the past06:15yes and06:17worse because if we were sharing our06:20view of this class we wouldn’t have an06:21agenda oh you might have an agenda06:24we might everybody has an agenda I’m not06:27that compared to people who are trying06:29to chose not comparative people whose06:31reputations are on the line06:32yes not compared to Daniel sickles06:34arguing with George Gordon Meade about06:37what went on on the second day of the06:39Battle of Gettysburg no they have a lot06:41right now I have a lot riding on that06:43yes I think kind of a different way that06:48liyan means are treated is really06:51interesting it seems like Lee gets away06:53with making a lot of mistakes and06:55everybody forgives him and his06:56reputation still really strong and it06:58seems all neat successes are kind of07:00characterizes not sort of good luck you07:05mean his successes at Gettysburg yeah07:07good kind of good fortune and I is it07:10does we get away with it because of the07:12charisma because I want to know what you07:16think the answer to your own question is07:18that was the one thing I could come up07:21with and also maybe Longstreet just07:23going on such a tiring after Gettysburg07:25probably helpfully out in a huge way but07:29it did it I think if we could bring Mead07:32and Lee into this room and have them07:36here they would leave and then we would07:38talk about them and you would have a07:40very different impression of lead than07:43you did me no matter what you thought07:45and you might have an impression going07:46in by the time they left I think you07:50would leave was just one of those people07:52who commanded spaces and impressed07:57people even people who didn’t especially07:59think they wanted to like him me was08:02grumpy and he doesn’t have a lot of08:05successes over all his career I mean Lee08:06comes into Gettysburg with this resume08:08with a number of really quite08:10spectacular successes on it almost all08:13against the odds and me doesn’t have08:16that on these resume08:17never has that on his resume and has the08:19bad fortune about a year after08:23Gettysburg to find himself traveling08:25he’s still the commander the army but08:27grant is traveling with the army and so08:29it’s not means army it’s grants army if08:32anything good happens it’s grants army08:34if anything bad happens it could be08:36means army well so what08:38you never think that lea would do08:41something like media Chamberlain like08:44give him like 120 men and just like well08:48me didn’t do that to Chamberlain08:50underlings did it I mean it happened it08:52was way down the chain of command it was08:54the brigade commander who told08:55Chamberlain a guy named strong Vincent08:58and you’ll see his little marker where09:00he was mortally wounded strong Vincent09:01told Joshua Chamberlain strong Vincent09:03commanded this brigade and in the fifth09:07Corps and Joshua Chamberlain’s main09:09regiment was one of the regiment’s in09:10that when you walk along Little Round09:12Top when you’re there they’re the main09:14regiment then there’s an 83rd09:16Pennsylvania and there’s a Michigan09:18regiment and a New York regiment those09:20are the four regiments in a brigade and09:21it just so happened that Chamberlain09:23ended up on the left but of course you09:25mean what would we put soldiers in a09:28position like that yeah09:29just like that oh he would just09:32absolutely like that09:34yep yep say though that meat has like09:36nothing like what Lee has on his resume09:38but he was the commander of the army09:41when the Union won the biggest battle of09:45the war so isn’t that a huge resume09:46building no because it’s grants army in09:49everybody’s mind it’s because US Grant09:51is with that army the entire way09:53once he gets east which is to say the09:56only battle where George Meade is really09:58the commander of the army of the coma is10:00this one but it’s a big one but it is a10:03big one it’s a really big one it’s a big10:05one that left10:06Abraham Lincoln with what idea about me10:10did he let Lee get away and finished you10:13had a chance to really finish the job10:15and he didn’t do it didn’t do it10:18immensely frustrated by this once grant10:21comes Meade is part of the eye and I10:25think meat was a good soldier don’t get10:27me wrong but meat is not the soldier10:29could win the war for the United States10:31I mean there’s not the slightest chance10:34that he could have been a soldier who10:35won the war the United States he just10:37doesn’t just doesn’t have it why do you10:40think he was so and and I was surprised10:45by the essay on meeting here because10:47he’s like touted as this great very10:51positive este positive but when you read10:53it there he doesn’t do that much he just10:55like repositions some people and gets a10:57lot of credit for that but obviously10:59clearly Sowers is he’s very good at11:01repositioning you know that sounded so11:05snarky actually was good at11:08repositioning and that is important11:10we’ll taco I mean this is yeah so we’ll11:13talk about that what’s your body is11:14narrow if you got bottom line to this11:16particular set of comments all effort11:19those trying to dish I was trying to11:20defend the point that meat had nothing11:22on his resume because well coming into11:24Gettysburg here’s range resume he was a11:27pretty good division commander he11:29commanded the Pennsylvania reserves he11:30commanded the division at Antietam then11:32he’s promoted the corps commander he’s a11:34corps commander at Chancellorsville but11:36he doesn’t really do anything he was11:38still a division commander at11:39Fredericksburg and his guys got shot11:41just like everybody else’s he did okay11:43but he didn’t really stand out so he’s11:46an okay corps commander he was a pretty11:48good division commander and he’s an army11:50commander who’s been in command for11:51three days that’s a pretty blank resume11:55I think for someone who’s an i and in11:58contrast Lee has the seven-day second12:00Bull Run the Maryland campaign12:01Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville on12:03his resume vastly different maybe back12:08to Kara’s question a little bit Scott’s12:09um does the difference between what12:14Howley and he’ll meet or perceived as a12:16maybe to some of that stem from they’re12:20just they’re different leadership styles12:21as well the fact that it does seem like12:23pretty consistent Lili is the central12:27figure right he’s figurehead he’s an12:29idol all all decisions flow to him he12:32has a very small staff and much too12:35small right and12:36admittedly and and at the same time mead12:39is having counsels and group discussions12:43and votes about what should be done and12:46I wonder if that distributive form of12:50power just that kind of a distributive12:52power structure if maybe that also these12:54because it makes it easy for meets12:56critics to look them and say oh he12:58didn’t decide anything the group did13:00okay right but at the same time in my13:03mind it seems like that actually might13:05be a more effective more effective but13:08that was one of the questions that I13:09wanted to talk about that I wanted to do13:11at last but I don’t care how we do this13:13I will get to lots of things tonight and13:15since this is supposed to be a more13:17freeform evening we can do just exactly13:20whatever you want to do as long as you13:22don’t get wildly out of control but if13:25we want to talk about that I’m happy to13:27talk about that they have very different13:29leadership styles leak and make a13:30decision Lee doesn’t need votes to13:34decide what he’s going to he talks to13:35people talks to Longstreet every day13:37we’ll do more of this next week talking13:39about the subordinates goes and talks to13:41you’ll and his subordinates on the night13:43of the first talks to you again that13:45night he’s worried about you all he’s13:47already figuring out that you’ll he’s13:49not Stonewall Jackson which he didn’t13:51know before now he’s figuring that out13:53but he never says let’s vote never says13:57that’s all getting the room and vote13:58that’s not he does not need to do that14:01but me certainly you can have some14:04sympathy for being in this situation14:06that having been in command for three14:08days and never been an army commander14:12before he’s junior to some of the pizza14:14some of the other corps commanders he14:15isn’t even the senior corps commander14:17he’s junior to John Reynolds he’s junior14:19to John Sedgwick it’s not even the14:21senior corps commander in the army and14:23people in the army are very meticulous14:26about rank during the Civil War and even14:30now but then they certainly were if I’m14:33a Major General and Bryce is a14:35major-general but I was a major-general14:36a month before Bryce I’m not going to be14:39entirely comfortable if Bryce is put in14:42charge of me because I rank him14:46and that’s the case with me at14:48Gettysburg it’s two of his subordinates14:50who are senior to him in the army Justin14:53I was gonna say isn’t someone telling as14:55well at one time that he did pole that14:56he wanted to kind of back away the14:58reposition and was it all the corps15:00commanders we wanted to stay all the15:02ones who were awake yes and one was15:05asleep and one didn’t vote but yes all15:07those who voted but what is the point15:10this essay this favorable essay to him15:12what’s the point that he makes in that15:14essay that’s a decision that people15:16appointed too many times this show that15:18me just can’t meet has to get he needs a15:20consensus he needs to find out what15:22everybody wants to do what’s the yes I15:24say about that said he’d already made up15:29his mind to stay before he asked for the15:32vote but he hadn’t made up his mind15:34about was whether to remain on the15:37defensive or to attack the next day but15:39he’d already made the decision and15:41already sent a message to the War15:42Department about his intention to stay15:46so he made one decision without talking15:48to but of course that raises the15:51question what if what if six of the nine15:54people in the room and said well we15:55think we need to go we don’t think we15:57should stay then I think George mean why16:02not of stage who knows we can’t know16:05about that but I think that police is16:09right behind this specific better which16:12is a big one isn’t better this kind of16:15leadership style because you have so16:17many battle fronts and then you can16:19instead of like waiting the kind of16:21hours to come to talk to you and send16:23another decision like everybody just16:25decide by themselves and you know you16:28kid16:29on a faster speed than the enemy because16:31it’s so centralized it they cannot go as16:35fast as you can no because no and that’s16:37so that’s smart so he brings everybody16:40in and he asks Hancock what’s going on16:46in your part of the line and he asks16:47Warren let’s go what have you seen I16:49mean and everybody can tell him bring16:52their intelligence from the very parts16:53of the line sure that’s I would think16:55that’s a smart16:56to do that’s a smart thing to do for the16:58next day to plan is wailing and again17:01for the same day battles but once the17:04battle starts then of course it becomes17:05very difficult because communication is17:07so problematical on a Civil War17:10battlefield really problematical you17:12want to send a message to Hancock and17:15you so you get your staff officer Scott17:19and start point him in the direction of17:21where you think Hancock is supposed to17:23be and he goes and well Hancock has gone17:26over to talk to somebody else so he’s17:28not there or Scott gets shot on the way17:31over or he gets lost or his horse gets17:33shot I mean anything it’s really really17:36difficult to maintain what we would17:40consider reasonable control of a17:42battlefield when you’re talking about17:43there are 160,000 men on that17:48battlefield within a few miles of one17:50another17:51Jake said that was a question I had17:52reading the paper we’re talking the17:55first day a lot about we was exerted17:58yeah I actually talked about that but18:00you’re being kind yeah how much the18:06communication of the time I mean how18:08much it was can user well here’s the18:10influence he can exert on the first day18:12the waited what did Lee wants what are18:14these orders in his army what’s the18:17situation on the first day is Lee is18:19riding toward Gettysburg that morning of18:24July 1st anybody to have to avoid a big18:26engagement he has ordered his18:28lieutenants not to bring on a general18:30engagement quiet his whole army isn’t18:33done yet Longstreet pickets armies all18:35over southern Pennsylvania he wants them18:37back together it’s the same thing18:38happened to her in the Maryland campaign18:40his army was scattered all over Maryland18:42and he was pushed into a fight so here18:45he wants the army back together before18:47he gets into a fight those are the18:50instructions the night before oh so what18:52happens in the morning okay ap Hill19:00tales19:01Henry Heath he can walk into Gettysburg19:03to look for shoes who is not doing this19:07job right there what what is what19:09missing component here Jim Stewart if19:13Jeff Stewart had been there with the19:14cavalry we would have known there were19:16pebbles in Gettysburg you would have19:18known and Henry Heath would not have19:20walked into Gettysburg with his big19:22clunking division which is not what big19:25clunking divisions of infantry do you19:27don’t line 7,000 guys up on the road for19:30a breast and walk toward something19:32you’re not sure about but that’s what19:34was that’s what happened just annoying19:36is what was the definition of general19:38engagement in terms of so in my mind and19:40reading kind of essentially this was you19:43know heavy reconnaissance this was you19:45know there’s some engagement but it19:46wasn’t the full-on Army’s colliding well19:49what happens when you start shooting at19:50each other19:51put the Hoosier how many are shooting it19:53does doesn’t it but button but let me19:56reframe my question what can happen when19:59you if you have an infantry division20:00that starts shooting at other people20:02that can easily turn you together I mean20:05the best way not to bring on a general20:07engagement is don’t go start shooting at20:09somebody if you’re an infantry division20:11let your cavalry sort of do what cavalry20:14do and don’t send an infantry division20:17forward and so by the time20:21soli hears this firing in the direction20:24of Gettysburg and decides to go take a20:27look so he gets there – any of you20:30remember about when you got there up to20:33Oklahoma about two o’clock he shows up20:35on her Ridge you’ll see her ridge when20:37you get there it’s one Ridge over from20:39McPherson Ridge so here comes Lee here’s20:43Gettysburg here’s Burridge merson’s20:47Ridge seminary Ridge Oak Hill and20:52Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill wildly out20:55of proportion but generally the soli20:58shows up here to what has gone on down21:02to that point in the day what’s the21:04situation when he gets there can anybody21:07give us a quick account 25 seconds21:12what’s happened21:13he’s moving in on this road he come in21:16two on the Chambersburg pike modern21:18route 3021:19with his 7000 infantry21:21and he gets this far he gets to her21:24Ridge any runs into Buford’s cavalry21:28which is here and on McPherson Ridge and21:30the cavalry make heath deploy which21:33takes them takes a long time to get 700021:36men from being four abreast walking21:40along road to in battle lines like this21:43so you go for its call from going you’re21:46in column on the road and you go into21:48line into a battle formation takes an21:50hour for Heath to do that then they21:54fight here and it’s a and the battle is21:57on an east-west axis we’ve talked about21:58all of this the cavalry fights about an22:01hour and then John Reynolds comes up22:04with the first Corps and then it becomes22:05an infantry fight Justin this is why22:07it’s you don’t want your infantry22:08walking along Pennsylvania and running22:11into somebody now you have an entire22:14infantry Corps fighting a Confederate22:17division now you’ve got $15,000 17,00022:21guys shooting at each other that’s22:22getting very close to being a general22:24engagement already but you get a22:27stalemate here because the Federals are22:30in a good position on McPherson’s Ridge22:32you’ll see that ground it’s very good22:35ground22:35some veterans are on her rich but just22:39before Lee gets on the battlefield22:42Robert Rhoades is division of Richard22:46Ewell’s Corps shows up on Oak Hill and22:50when you stand on Oak Hill it’s a22:51stunning aspect from Oak Hill the Union22:55battle line is like this facing it that22:58way22:59Confederate artillery on Oak Hill and23:01they’re looking right down the whole23:03Union line it’s an artillerist dreams23:06you can’t miss if you shoot a little bit23:09short you’ll hit Federals here if you23:11shoot a little bit long you’ll hit23:13Federals here you’d have to be an23:15absolute dope knocking at federal23:18somewhere if you’re an artillerist up23:20here where they come in then Confederate23:23infantry shows up here and that23:25reorients the entire battle now the23:27Federals have to bring the 11th Corps23:29they bring the 11th Corps out here and23:31part of the first Corps now has to23:33which and paste that way now it’s a23:36battle that has a north-south axis and23:39an east-west axis and when Lee gets here23:41what he sees is the Confederates it’s23:44sheer luck as we talked about last time23:46they’re coming in at exactly the right23:49place every time the Federals get a23:52battle line in place Confederates come23:54in beyond their line and so Lee sees23:57that and he is the one who makes the23:59decision here24:00he says push it so he has changed his24:04orders at that point don’t bring on a24:05general engagement oh wait a minute this24:08general engagement looks like it’s24:09really going our way and so here is24:12combative aggressive side comes out and24:15he says push it but that’s a key24:17decision for him to make but he makes it24:20on the basis of what he can actually see24:22from there he can see the elements24:24coming together tactically it makes24:27sense we see Iran when I began I had to24:29that’s do you see retreat right he what24:32retreat or like doesn’t get into24:35engagement convenient many things you24:37said no don’t fight roll like don’t24:39retreat if you need to then yeah not so24:42much reach but yes and what had happened24:44to very the the day before this big24:49brigade under the bright North24:51Carolinian we talked about James24:52Johnston Pettigrew he had taken his24:55Brigade just the way heat went in on the24:57first Pettigrew did it on the 30th he24:59saw Union cavalry and what did he do he25:01immediately withdrew because his orders25:04were not to bring on a general25:05engagement that’s the other reaction25:07that is the reaction that that are that25:10reaction is the one that these orders25:12make pretty clear to anybody who has the25:15uniform on is desired reaction do not25:18start a fight because once you start a25:21fight anything can happen anything can25:24happen so Pettigrew hadn’t started a25:27fight the day before he gets into a25:29fight here but by the time Lee gets25:31there too these elements are coming25:33together and it seems to make sense to25:37let that let them but the by and go yes25:40so25:41there was a problem I know in other25:42battles used hot air balloons table you25:44might have been don’t know high air25:45balloons here that Confederates Porter25:48Alexander talks about the only instance25:49in the entire war for the Confederates25:52use a hot air balloon it’s during the25:53the Peninsula Campaign and it became25:56unboard and just floated down the James25:57the the Federals have a balloon core26:01sort of under a man named Thaddeus Lowe26:04who had balloons up during the seven26:08days balloons up at credit sure they’re26:09very unwieldy and in a really active26:12campaign like this the odds would be26:14against having them move with the army26:17and low fell out with the government the26:19government was paying him so much to be26:21a balloon guy it wasn’t in the army then26:24they they said willing to pay you half26:26as much and he said we’ll go to hell I’m26:28going to California and and that’s he26:30ended up out in Pasadena and mount Lowe26:32out there’s a named after low so they26:34have balloonist but Melinda’s are on26:36only a handful of battlefields in the26:38civil war they work you could get up see26:41everything they’d run a telegraph wire26:42up and so the balloonists are up there26:44tapping out what they can see down below26:46and the other side is trying to shoot26:49them down they dig holes put the trails26:51of the cameras in so they can get more26:52elevation and try to shoot them down but26:54they they don’t play a crucial role on26:57any battlefield okay sisters absence27:01that we talked about last night I feel27:03like I think it’s three days and27:05Gettysburg kind of offers him some27:07excuses and terms of only Alan Nolan27:10does because Alan Nolan wants all of it27:12on Lee so how does he let Stewart off27:13the book he says the league is in27:15country king borders and that he wants27:19him to protect the right flank but he27:20also you27:22I was hitting spy I uh you know what my27:28feelings are about is I I don’t think27:30you can let Stewart off the hook because27:32Stewart knew what his job was there’s27:34absolutely no question that he knew what27:37his job was his job was to screen the27:40armies movement is it went north and27:41gather intelligence about the Federals27:44that’s what his job is he’s really good27:47at it really good at it but he wasn’t27:51really good at it here in Allen who’s27:53the lawyer a really good lawyer Allen27:56was the senior partner in the biggest27:58law firm in Indiana and was on the28:00Harvard Law Review and he writes and28:02thinks like a lawyer which means he28:05doesn’t know how to use evidence because28:07lawyers here’s how lawyers use evidence28:10huh I want to argue a I’ve got 30 pieces28:16of evidence 11 of them support a 19 of28:22them support B but I want to argue B so28:25I’m going to use my 11 piece of evidence28:27and are you a that’s how you win cases28:30in a court you don’t have to tell about28:32the 19 pieces of evidence to the jury28:34but if you’re a historian and you’ve got28:3730 pieces of evidence and 2/3 of them28:40say me not a you have to think pretty28:43hard about arguing hey keep your28:46historian not if you’re a lawyer Alan28:48and I have many great discussions fueled28:51by he liked a really good scotch and28:54cigars and we would argue about this and28:57they’d say no historians don’t know how28:59to use evidence and I’m saying you know29:01really Alan come to terms with this but29:05that is that is how he makes his case29:08against Lee what’s the gist of a29:10lanolin’s case against Lee what is out29:14what really gets under Alan’s skin about29:17Stewart left some Calvary for him in a29:20broader sense oh no he did Stewart did29:22Lee cavalry he did leave cavalry you’re29:24running a company all of you you’ve got29:28six key subordinates you’ve got paid29:32really wonderful you’ve got be who’s29:35mighty damn good29:36you’ve got see who’s almost mighty damn29:38good you’ve got Dee who’s a complete29:41pain in the ass and can’t get along with29:43anybody else but it’s pretty good at29:44what he does you’ve got II who should be29:47sent to Siberia and kept away from Wars29:49and you’ve got it who is worse than e29:52Jeff Stewart takes these three with him29:54and leaves those three with lead so yes29:58he doesn’t need cavalry with Lee and30:00these two are cavalry who would fit into30:04the bar seeing in Star Wars this one is30:07good well you can’t get along with30:09anybody so it’s true that he leaves30:12cavalry that’s the truth but it’s not30:15cavalry that’s very good and so if you30:19have if you have a really critical30:21operation you’ve got three really good30:23underlings and three who are not really30:27very good and you decide these are the30:30ones you’re going to let it just me30:32that’s not a close call just to push30:34back inside though it wasn’t that big30:36failed at Gettysburg these three you30:38know deeper back it’s that you weren’t30:39even there30:40I mean why would you well the best one30:43the best one d and I’ll put a name on30:46him his name is William e Jones and his30:48nickname was grumbled that’s his actual30:51nickname he was known as grumble Jones30:53in the army30:55grumble Jones was left basically30:58watching the rear echelons of the army31:00which is an important place for him to31:01be the other two guys Beverly Robertson31:05who was a North Carolinian who should31:07have been court-martialed just before31:09the campaign started the other was a guy31:10named Albert31:11Jenkins who commanded this cavalry from31:14the western part of Virginia’s it was31:15just unspeakably unreliable they’re the31:19ones who were closest to what’s going on31:21with the army so it’s an Jeff Stewart31:23has Wade Hampton and fits you and he’s31:26got his best bits laid he’s got his very31:28best people with him up by Carlisle31:32Pennsylvania on the 1st of July31:34I mean they’re just they know but the31:36main thing the main thing as I said31:37before it isn’t even which subordinates31:40are or aren’t there the main thing is31:41the Jeff Stewart he’s the key31:44he’s the one he said that he’s in charge31:45of this so should we have given him that31:49responsibility of course he should31:50because he’s never letting down he’s31:52been a superb cavalry officer even31:56though it’s he’s been superb as long as31:58leads he’s been there ever since Lee’s32:01been in the Army Jeff Stewart has been32:02there right from the beginning and his32:04absolutely reliable just as reliable32:08does the way Longstreet has nothing32:11prepared lead for how long he’d be hated32:13Gettysburg not be prepared Lee in32:15contrast to you’ll whom Lee didn’t know32:19very much about he knows about Stewart32:21Stewart is an absolutely known quantity32:23to lead and so’s Longstreet okay I32:28didn’t get we’re trying to get like with32:30the cavalry I mean how custard assign32:32each cover he would take and did he need32:36because Lee Lee style of command we32:39talked about this before it’s a very32:41it’s a very loose rein that he exercises32:44over these people he really trusts he32:46tells Stewart what he wants him to do32:48and then what’s worrying about it and32:50just assumes that Stewart will do it32:52because Stewart has always done it32:54before so Stewart what Lee didn’t know32:56is it Stewart was going to take these32:58three brigades and ride off to the east32:59and end up out of contact with the army33:03through the absolutely critical part of33:06the campaign there was no way he could33:08have anticipated that no way and for his33:11thoughts did he need the best cover he33:13or Lee no it’s true Stewart was it33:16necessary or no could have performance33:19well if any of us I mean if we had been33:22if I were Jeff Stewart I would have33:24taken those guys too and so would any of33:26you because they’re the people you rely33:28on the most it’s not their fault it’s33:31not his subordinates Stewart’s fault33:33yeah yeah yeah sure I would have taken33:34the best ones he did not think he was33:38good he didn’t think that he was leaving33:39Lee in the hands of these other33:41cavalryman’s Stewart did not think that33:43Stewart thought he was gonna be doing33:44what he was supposed to be doing he33:46didn’t know the army the Potomac was33:48going to start moving with him on the33:50other side of it and there they go33:53stuck33:54bryce what wasn’t that part of was it33:57nolan’s33:57I think it was no arguing that wasn’t34:00that part of it the breakdown was that34:02Lee had given Stuart so many orders34:05three or four different directives like34:07Alan argues that poor Jam would have34:10just been confused about what I was34:12supposed to defend and screen and gather34:16resources and swing around the army but34:19not too far but not too close he did not34:21tell him to swing around the in army to34:23be 12 but that’s a big okay if you do34:26they tell we did not come to swing34:28around the Union Army that’s Jeff York’s34:30decision okay that that would I don’t34:34think there I think if he thought he was34:36going to retrieve the reputation that34:37was taken a blow at brandy station or34:41Stuart almost lost the biggest cavalry34:43battle of the war after he’d been in his34:45peak Hokkien best of having big reviews34:49and balls tonight and having everybody34:52come and look at how wonderful he was34:54all those things and they was almost34:56defeated and he was humiliated34:58is it reasonable to expect that he could35:01have been confused by what seemed to be35:04contradictory orders you know what I35:06think he would have said if he was35:08confused he would have said generally35:09I’m not quite sure what you want me to35:12do here please clarify that’s all he35:15would have had to do if he would I don’t35:17think he was confused but if he were35:19confused that’s what you would do that’s35:22what anybody would do let me just make35:25sure this is what you want me to do35:26that’s all it would have taken they’re35:27together they’re in the same place he35:30can just go to Lee’s tent and say may I35:33have five minutes with the general I35:34have one thing I would like to clarify35:35what he thought we would have had to do35:40Dannan then my question is when he’s35:42dealing with someone like you all who35:44was not a known quantity who is35:46completely paralyzed by yes we know that35:50right he didn’t know that right so35:52that’s so that then that’s the question35:54is how does he deal with someone like35:55that you know in in a big confrontation35:58like Gettys35:59to say you know it indicates that you36:03were going to be paralyzed by my lack of36:06how did lady when did lead begin to have36:09it’s a real doubts about you Karen he36:14said that you should take it practical36:16and it’s that evening I think that Lee36:20began to think oh this isn’t okay it’s36:24not Stonewall Jackson and I better go36:26see just how far from Stonewall Jackson36:28this is soon wrote over to yields36:30headquarters that night and what have36:32you find when he got there when he let36:34them know that he wanted to maintain the36:36aggressive the next day what was the36:38reaction at at mules its you’ll and36:41Jubal Early who’s a division commander36:43Robert Rhoades who’s a division36:45commander those are the main people in36:47place there what’s their response the36:52response is just a passenger they try to36:55test the authenticity we don’t want to36:58be the main part of this offensive why37:00don’t you let somebody else be the main37:02part and we’ll we’ll play a secondary37:04role isn’t what Lee wanted to hear from37:07them not what he wanted to hear in that37:09room and not what he would have heard37:12from I hate to say it again Stonewall37:14Jackson it isn’t what he would have37:16heard from Stonewall Jackson and it’s37:18not what he would have heard from37:19Longstreet in most instances either he’s37:21spending at least gonna get a number of37:23little wake-up calls on July 1st at37:26Gettysburg ease already had one about37:28Stewart and he gets one about you he37:31gets one about Longstreet when they have37:33their first sort of tense conversation37:36in the afternoon Brian yeah kinda on37:38that that one more interesting passages37:41was Craig talking about the leading37:43causes of southern fetus first Stewart’s37:47absence second I guess you’ll Xin37:50competence right third long he puts on37:52cheek confidence brought you agreeing37:53with that I you know I think Stewart is37:58in a separate category because if38:00Stewart’s that there wouldn’t even have38:01been a battle if Stewart had been doing38:03what Stewart was supposed to do once38:04they’re on the battlefield I think I38:07think Longstreet is more culpable38:09I think poor you’ll have38:10reasons for not attacking late in the38:13afternoon he knew things that Lee didn’t38:15know he said he would attack if ap Hill38:17supported him on the right Lee was38:20literally with ap Hill when he got that38:23word from you and Lee never told AP hill38:25to attack which seems that seems odd to38:29me that Lee would sort of not have he’ll38:31attack but would expect you’ll to attack38:33and it seems reasonable to want a38:36coordinated attack so I I think Lee is38:38culpable there and I don’t know he never38:40explained why he didn’t tell Hill to38:43attack Hill had one division that hadn’t38:45fired a single shot his biggest division38:47hadn’t even been in the action yet38:49commanded by a guy named Anderson from38:52South Carolina hadn’t even been in the38:54fight so I don’t know what’s going on38:57with Lee there that to me is38:58inexplicable but boy did he he put a39:02black mark next to eul’s name39:06metaphorically at that point and it and39:09it never got erased it only has any put39:11up more but this is the first one that39:13night first he had an attack then he39:16didn’t seem aggressive when Lee went and39:18talked to him leave with Lee it’s pure39:21one of his subordinates you might not39:24always succeed but he would want you to39:28be aggressive and want to succeed and39:31want to harm the enemy if he doesn’t get39:35that kind of vibe from you it’s not good39:38for you terms about he’s going to think39:41about you39:46basically said that Lee was on the field39:49it was with health would would you let39:51some to some extent I said that I did at39:580.2 like this were like a business and40:01your CIO yeah not doing well it’s gonna40:04be a CEO that takes responsibility takes40:06the fall40:07I agree completely I don’t understand40:09why unless it in legal terms of is just40:12all charisma at some point a remand ago40:16does the tax except Lee estates all40:18culpability and it seems like these40:19commanders are the scapegoat he other40:23people made everyone but lead the40:25scapegoats at Gettysburg and I think40:27there’s plenty of blame to pass around40:29but you can’t Lee doesn’t get a pass40:30here he is the one and he is on the40:33scene with Hill he’s right there so that40:36is in he is he’s the one who decides to40:38make it a big battle he’ll doesn’t40:40decide to make it a big battle Lee40:41decides to make it a big battle when40:43he’s on the scene and then he decides40:46not to do something else with he’ll he’s40:48but once he gets once he rides Traveler40:52up off the Chambersburg pike on to her40:56Ridge it is his battle down til then you40:59can point to lots of people why did41:01he’ll let Heath go in why did he do that41:02where’s Jeff Stewart once Lee is there41:05and the chalk is smacking all over the41:08ground then he’s the heat there we agree41:13with you completely the responsibilities41:14on his shoulders absolutely on his41:16shoulders then his defenders would say41:19well Lee wanted to do this and his41:21subordinates letting down he hoped they41:24would do this and they didn’t do that41:25and he but he is in charge once he gets41:29to the field at two o’clock I agree was41:33that part of what41:35he was official communications never41:39disingenuous about what happened or41:42maybe not disingenuous but he put it in41:44an air that he was trying to get certain41:46things done but trying to be defensive41:49if at all possible he was forced into41:52this and ultimately I guess passed a41:54little bit of the buck in terms of the41:56fact that it was his decision well I41:59actually know I don’t think Lee I think42:02one of the things I think is Admiral42:04badly is that he does take42:05responsibility he took the42:07responsibility in a letter the Jefferson42:09Davis right after he said I’m I it’s my42:11fault I asked the troops to do more than42:13they can do it’s my fault now he in his42:16post-war conversations which he didn’t42:19think would ever become published and42:21which did eventually become published he42:24he had a hierarchy of blame and he did42:28blame Jeff Stewart and he was hard on he42:32lumped all his corps commanders together42:33he said they fought the battle in a42:35halting way and his clear you’ll would42:38be at the top of that list but but42:40healing is on happening with the ellen42:41long stream as well so yes he does point42:43the finger at people but doesn’t in his42:45official report and he doesn’t publicly42:47and he didn’t with his own men right42:49after the battle he rode right out among42:51them you walk out on that part of the42:53field and said this is all my it’s all42:55my fault not it’s all my fault that’s42:57mostly my fault or it’s our fault it’s42:59my fault he said I salute also thinking43:07only and going to this point that was43:11also him complaining a lot about not43:13having commanders or generals to talk43:16with a versity but that he was already43:18in the war for a while so he’s an he’s43:21also his folk that he didn’t develop to43:24other Cornell’s or general brigades43:29because you know he knew the size was43:31getting in he knew he wanted to spread43:34out43:35more they corpse but he didn’t do well43:41bring you up more officers right well43:44here’s the here’s we talked about this43:46problem before and when you’re all43:48running high-powered country there are43:49companies you’ll probably find this out43:52too it’s hard to be certain that43:55somebody who’s done very well at this43:57level is going to do very well at this44:00level you just can’t tell sometimes they44:03do sometimes they’re spectacular44:04sometimes they end up with your job44:06button you try all the fuel somehow and44:08what he’s trying this is their first44:10battle since Stonewall Jackson died so44:13this is the very first time that his to44:15unknown quantities are going to be corps44:18commanders hill and you’ll they’ve never44:20commanded this many men before it’s new44:23for them this is their first time at bat44:26at that level of command so no he has no44:29record to go on there no record to go44:31there is no the way to try them all well44:35the other way to try them out is they44:36command at the next lowest level he’s44:38not going to tell Stonewall Jackson take44:39a battle op I want to see how he’ll does44:41as a guard commander know it’s donal44:44jackson’s their stonewall jackson’s in44:46charge it’s a it’s a brutal process in44:51the Civil War when do you have to44:52replace someone usually someone who’s44:54any good when they’re killed that’s when44:57you have to do it so Jackson is dead45:00what are we going to do one of the key45:02decisions that we made right after45:05Jackson died is the army had always been45:07in two pieces Jackson and half of it in45:10Longstreet had half of it Lee decided45:13that he probably shouldn’t trust anyone45:16else with that much so he may cut it45:18into three pieces instead of two and so45:21whereas Jackson and Longstreet that each45:26had a core with four divisions in it45:28that’s the old army in Northern Virginia45:30eight divisions in two Corps when they45:33create the new 3rd Corps they take that45:36division goes there that division goes45:39there and they bring a new division into45:41the army so it is so now James45:44Longstreet score is smaller than it was45:46before Richard you’ll got a smaller45:48version of the Corps that that Jackson45:51had commanded in AP Hill got a brand new45:54Corps that had his old division in it45:56which came out of Jackson’s court plus45:59one division from Longstreet’s Corps and46:01then the new one that hadn’t been with46:03the army before46:03that’s one decision Lee made and I think46:06that decision in itself shows that he’s46:09Lewis that’s almost one way to see how46:12these guys will do you’re giving them46:13not as quite as much responsibility as46:16Longstreet and Jackson had under the old46:19organization you’ve reorganized the army46:21and reduced the amount of responsibility46:24that each of your first tier of46:26subordinates has but it was a46:29requirement to do West Point46:31no it’s not a requirement but the other46:37side they had channels that were gone46:41they had one yeah one Corps commander46:44Dan sickles46:46is the only car commander in either army46:48who didn’t go to West Point in the46:50general to get religion there are lots46:54of Colonels lots of because there aren’t46:56enough West pointers to command these46:58gigantic armies so the vast majority of47:00officers in the armies did not go to47:03West Point but the top echelon of47:06command in both armies overwhelming in47:10all the Civil War armies overwhelmingly47:12went to West Point sickles is the only47:14one who didn’t and sickles is sort of47:16the odd man out in the army a lot of the47:19other officers don’t like him he’s not47:22part of the club in any way that didn’t47:25blade for Lydia also a problem to47:28choosing officers high rank because oh47:30you have to be West Point so don’t know47:31certainly gyro classic he would have47:34just know everybody he considered was a47:37West pointer everybody who was47:39conceivably a candidate to be a corps47:41commander47:42see that there was also like necessary47:46or he was too careful no I don’t think47:50there was anybody if I were at least I47:51wouldn’t even know where you’d have to47:53go so far down to get somebody who was47:55in the West pointer the idea of taking47:57them from they might be a brigade47:59commander so you go from commanding 150048:01min to 20,000 men that’s too that’s too48:03big a jump to take too big a jump at the48:06very end of the war there was a man48:08named John Gordon who you’ll you’ll see48:13where they’ll talk about him at48:15Gettysburg Marines will I’m sure when48:17you’re there he ends up as a corps48:19commander at the very at Appomattox he’s48:21a Corps commander he’s a non West48:23pointer who’s just a kind of brilliant48:25military figure but he takes him a long48:28time and the only reason he gets up48:29there is because everybody else is48:31getting shot and he ends up in that48:34position48:41there’s a pause here yet yes do we start48:45a new line yes let’s start a new thread48:47I’m going to make another feeble attempt48:50to get you to say something nice about48:51books I’d say a lot of nice things on48:53long street when I was free was very48:55tall but I was going what I was trying48:59to find when I was digging through my49:00mom Street this was some I remember49:02reading at some point there was some49:04study someone did they actually tried to49:07duplicate his large on the second day49:11and they said and I wanted no fingers I49:14remember that he got to a point where he49:18was exposed so we had to backtrack and49:20take a look around can do you know yeah49:23do you know what I’m talking about49:24I guess I’ve made them you tell me I’ve49:26taken many groups on that March it is49:28it’s it’s an importer Alexander he talks49:31about it he they wanted to get around to49:34the Union left and you you come down a49:38road and I don’t know whether the49:39Marines maybe they’ll take you on the49:40smart shoe you come up to this little49:42piece of high ground you’re looking a49:43little ramp up and round top and their49:46Union signalman up there and they don’t49:47want to be discovered so when they see49:49that they drop back down off it RIA49:51today does this long counter March and49:52gets down in the bottom he’s got a gap49:54of about five hundred yards you need to49:56get from here to right down here without49:58being seen so he does this long well50:00Porter Alexander reached that same place50:02earlier in the day for his artillery50:04caught up and all they saw that what was50:07his solution to the problem he dropped50:09down went about 400 yards off to his50:12right and ended up down where he was50:13supposed to be cooking maybe 20 minutes50:15to do it 20 minutes with him when he50:17goes well yeah I was artillery the50:19artillery was out in front of the50:21infantry it’s not how many guys you have50:22it’s how do you solved the problem he50:24solved the problem in a very efficient50:26indirect way Longstreet solved the50:28problem in the most cumbersome50:30imaginable way but ate up lots of50:32precious time and Alexander remarked in50:35another context he didn’t see why the50:37infantry when they got there just didn’t50:38follow his horse droppings around to see50:41how they got where they were going50:43because it’s just and when you stand50:44there the ground just lays out the50:47camera is Little Round Top we’re50:49standing on this little road here50:50there’s of the ridge goes just like this50:52and we drop back this50:54our and we just come around go around50:58the back row and we end up where the50:59camera is and nobody can see us51:02I mean you can see it all from right51:03there can see how so you could have to51:07find another thing to get Longstreet up51:09okay that was not going to work that one51:11he should have been able to figure out51:12he did things he didn’t start to get his51:17column ready to march until his last big51:19aid was up and now this is inside the51:22beltway minutia but I mean this is he51:24waits for a bit for his very last reggae51:26to get out before he starts to get ready51:28to go why didn’t he get ready to go and51:31when the last Brigade comes up go but51:34didn’t he do that because he didn’t51:35agree with the orders and yes yeah what51:38kind of subordinate does that because it51:39doesn’t agree with the orders I mean51:42really if he really doesn’t want to do51:44it then say General Lee I can’t I’m51:46sorry I disagree so violently with what51:49you’re doing that I think you should put51:51someone else in my place that’s what you51:53do if you’re not gonna try your best51:55that’s what you do get out of the way I51:58hate to play you called Payton so I’m52:01only going to run at half speed on this52:03account I know the ball is gonna come to52:04me but I’m not going to run very fast I52:06think you should have called a slam yes52:09kind of a go you don’t get to do that if52:12you’re the receiver and Peyton Manning52:14calls the play or you what our I52:16guarantee you you won’t be a receiver52:18very long if you do that two or three52:20times and he knows you’re doing it you52:23don’t get to do that in an army and and52:27I do and I think you put your finger52:29right on I think that’s exactly what52:30Longstreet was doing he’s making a point52:32but let’s save him for next week we’ll52:35talk about Longstreet a lot next week52:37we’re supposed to focus on need and Lee52:41Jenny right I’m buying you affirm but I52:46thought we were doing tonight52:47that’s why I feel so empowered but52:50talking about we and just shouldn’t go52:54in across some timing52:56that’s a huge that’s what I had actually52:58intended to start with tonight but this53:00is sort of stream of consciousness the53:03way we’re coming out this so now we’re53:04back in the aftermath of53:06Chancellorsville right should he have53:08even gone53:09what does Alan know and think about that53:10well he kind of displays the argument a53:13bit yes and they’ll take it to the north53:16but it seems that it’s too aggressive53:18like Alan think you said pee on my ear53:20yeah53:21what should we have done according to53:23Alan I should have just gone a bit53:25defensively hunker down baby and select53:28the Yankees come to you just like at53:30Fredericksburg right oh I see the whole53:33points we talked about last class by53:35going to the Nord lure the army away53:37from Richmond you know using your army53:39to just dissipate making Morgan’s have a53:43call for peace but I feel like it’s a53:46huge hold of the guy and I don’t see why53:48the North with so many more men couldn’t53:51split their army and sack Richmond as53:54well as engaged Lee in Pennsylvania did53:56they all they just took him to54:00Pennsylvania right there I mean yes that54:02mate they left they left away what did54:04occur want to do when we march north he54:08wanted to go to Richmond but but why did54:12I mean but Lee understands what are the54:14realities what what would the northern54:16population say if General Lee’s headed54:19for Pennsylvania and the Army of the54:22Potomac goes the other way how is that54:24going to play behind the lines in the54:25United State is not it is not an option54:28there’s the biggest most famous rebel54:31army is in the United States what’s the54:34reaction you go get them and get them54:37out of the United States you don’t get54:38to go the other way but no they have54:41enough men to they can you babe I mean54:42there’s a how many armies do they have54:45next to Washington one one they have the54:49army Potomac what’s the army of the54:50tomek’s job deal with the army in54:54Northern Virginia where the army54:55Northern Virginia goes the army Potomac54:58god damn better well though or there are55:00going to be problems they’re going to be55:02tremendous problems for the Lincoln it55:04station so that is not an option to go55:07the other way not an option55:08Italy understood that even though hooker55:11having been crushed mentally by Li at55:14Chancellorsville wanted to do that I55:17still find that sort of hilarious that55:19the army commander would say well I want55:20to go the other way I know he’s headed55:22to the United States now’s my perfect55:24chance to go to Richmond but he didn’t55:27understand this Richmond is not the key55:28the key is Lee’s army so you thinking55:31sacrifice men we were just gone on55:33terrorizing Pennsylvania throughout I55:35mean I think there was no chance he was55:37going to sacrament there’s a zero55:39percent chance that politically he would55:42be allowed to do that this absolutely no55:44chance not a slim chance no chance that55:47he’s going to be allowed to do that55:49these are two Democratic Republic’s at55:52war this is one of the things we talked55:54about the first day politics and55:56military affairs are like this the56:00military the armies do not operate in a56:03military vacuum they operate in an56:06intensely politicized atmosphere and56:08people pay attention people being56:10civilians at home the boat pay attention56:14oh there’s no chase I’ll be right back56:16there in just a second oh sorry cuz last56:18class you said that he had to take the56:22army out of Virginia he said that yes56:25ledian yeah so how else you do that56:28without going to know that’s the only56:30way to do that we haven’t talked about56:32the main reason he said he wanted to get56:34it out of Virginia what’s the main56:36reason Lee wants to get the army out of56:39Virginia and then they want to give him56:40a chance to regrow there it’s logistics56:42he wants to give the farmers in Virginia56:45respite and he wants to get into56:47Pennsylvania and just siphon everything56:50his army can use out of that lush56:53central Pennsylvania countryside that’s56:55I think that’s the number one thing on56:57his mind56:59number two is he says you’re talking57:01about how big the armies are what is he57:0320 so he says if we don’t if we just sit57:05and wait what is going to happen we say57:08okay we won the Battle of57:09Chancellorsville I’m just gonna sit here57:11at Fredericksburg what’s going to happen57:15what’s going to happen what are the57:17federals could have do what are the57:19faendal is going to do in from Lee’s57:21perspective what does he say what’s the57:24scenario that he sketches out basically57:26he sees the war of attrition with the57:28north continuing to engage and bring the57:30war to the south one danger wherever57:33they choose to bring it he says they’re57:36bigger than we are they have more men57:38than we have if we just sit here we’re57:41going to allow our more powerful57:42opponent to take their time perfect57:45their plans and project their power at57:48the point of their choice and eventually57:52where does he say the army Northern57:54Virginia will end up yes it will end up57:56defending Richmond will end up in57:58Richmond and when he gets in Richmond58:00his view is the war is over58:02because it will end up as a siege and a58:05siege can only end one way with a58:08smaller force hunkered down and a larger58:10force enveloping it and he will do58:14almost anything to avoid death what58:16makes the comparison between Lee and58:18Washington wasn’t that was pretty58:19interesting yes Washington walking his58:21Lee’s idle right Washington let’s the58:24British take New York he lets them take58:26Boston you doesn’t have anything they58:27want we didn’t exactly let them take New58:30York they took New York the enthusiam58:32out but yes so the be moving into58:35Pennsylvania is basically the same as58:37Washington going to Valley Forge and58:40just kind of making his way down selves58:41and having to catch for loss at Yorktown58:44so from that perspective the war of58:47attrition isn’t a bad thing for Lee Lee58:50does not fight the war the way58:51Washington fought the revolution58:52absolutely Washington avoids big battles58:54but when Lee is afraid of this war of58:57attrition should he have been he’s59:01afraid of being besieged in Richmond59:03yeah he absolutely should have been what59:04how did the war in when he got besieged59:06in Richmond and Petersburg that’s when59:08the war ended yeah but like politically59:11the North was going to get tired of this59:13if we had avoided the big battle is that59:15fair to say if there weren’t big battles59:18the United States civilian population59:21probably wouldn’t have gotten tired of59:23it59:23as they got tired of it when their59:25soldiers were suffering hideous59:27casualties in these big bells it’s a59:30it’s a it’s this race for the59:33Confederates from Lee’s perspective a59:35race between attrition that comes with59:40winning the kinds of victories you’re59:41winning the depressed northern morale59:42and how quickly northern morale which is59:45going to have it is the North going to59:46give up first or we can run out of em59:48first that is the equation that Lee has59:50in his mind in an end the northern59:53morale proved resilient enough to absorb59:56a third of a million casualties and59:58still push on through all both came very60:01close in the summer of 64 not the60:03sticking to it I mean this close this60:06close you can you can make a great case60:10that it would have been better if Lee60:12hasn’t suffered so many casualties we’d60:14have to be an idiot not to make that60:15case but what you can’t supply and what60:18Alan Nolan could never answer I would60:22ask you how do you guarantee a supply of60:24Ambrose Burnside’s60:26to give you a bunch of battles of60:28Fredericksburg where you put your army60:29and really strong ground and your60:31opponent comes up and just attacks60:32uphill against you all day you only ever60:36found one of those guys in command of60:38the Union Army60:39excited about you know that that is what60:44caused the Union at that moment divided60:46what you do the same in the opposite way60:48because they would have all day fighting60:51uphill attacking a very entrenched60:53position they were going to lose I’m60:55Linda Park and right what worse what60:59you’re saying that while is that he61:00should have known that he would fail at61:02Gettysburg and should have known that61:04attacking a nindroid position uphill at61:07that moment is also the timing to be61:11affable61:11here’s the problem with that thinking he61:15did that it gains his mill in late June61:1918 he had a 50,000 man assault that61:21gains his smell biggest assault of the61:23war early that succeeded he had61:27assaulted Chancellorsville exactly two61:29months before the picket Pettigrew61:32assault where his infantry who were61:34outnumbered were attacking61:36who retrenched and they succeeded there61:39are and I think this is what led him I’m61:42not getting I’m just trying to explain61:44why I think he did this and it’s because61:46I think he believed in the end that his61:49infantry could just take care of61:52business no matter what the obstacles61:55because he had seen them do it in an61:59offensive mode 4 times before Gettysburg62:03but when you stand there and look across62:06you’ll stand on Cemetery Ridge and look62:08across at Cemetery Ridge and I mean you62:11I’m sure you’ll thank gosh we’re going62:13to line up here and walk over there with62:17people seven tenths of a mile with62:19people shooting at us with cannons and62:20mutlu whew it’s it’s it’s really62:26distressing to do that so should he have62:30nothing he had this great quotation62:32later he said i bided known that it62:34wouldn’t work even as dull a fellow as i62:36am would have done something different62:39but he didn’t know it wouldn’t work62:42Longstreet thought it wouldn’t work62:44and I think Longstreet Jim for all your62:47posturing about how I don’t like62:49Longstreet I think Longstreet’s idea was62:51better at getting Braddock Porter62:53Alexander’s idea is the best what if he62:55say Lee should have done after his big62:57victory on the first day Alexander says63:00there are three options and he says the63:02best one is one for the Confederates yes63:06hunker down we smacked the Federals63:10around on the first day they’re there on63:12this line here here we are on seminary63:16Ridge which is a nice defensive position63:18as well just we’ll hunker down and make63:21them attack us they never drive us from63:24positions said and Alexander said the63:27onus is on them to get us out of the63:29United States the place where Lee was63:32most disingenuous in his official report63:34is when he said that he the battle was63:37forced on him because his supply63:39situation was tenuous and in the essence63:41he had to attack that that is just not63:43true now Alexander calls him on that63:46he said well we stayed there for three63:48more days and fought a big battle and63:50then we stayed another 10 days north of63:53the Potomac if he had published that63:57book if Alexander had when he wrote it63:59he would have come in for incredible64:01criticism across the south incredible64:03for being so harsh on Lee anybody want64:06to do something else would leave right64:08now or shall we give this did this class64:10is no different than any other class64:11where it’s all about Lee we haven’t64:13spent much time on George media but any64:16kind of Lee aftershocks I’ll say after64:22I’ve made the answer to that note but we64:25are going to circle back to leave Mead64:29we’ve had a semi elephant defensively as64:33someone who was who did a very good job64:36in difficult circumstances I want to64:39hear someone offer a critique of need64:42that might not be quite so positive64:44if anyone reached that kind of64:47conclusion about it are you all need ice64:49in there so have a crack at a gym yes64:58that’s yes basically defending me and65:03saying that it really was a critical65:05place seemed to me to be mostly about65:16and it was you’ll see his he wasn’t65:19blown up but there were lots of65:21cannonballs coming around and then so he65:22left so the entire narrative of his65:26actions during the day seemed like he65:29wasn’t really interesting that much the65:31biggest effect that’s all I came out65:33about him was that he yes he did make65:34this a that one decision early on65:36brought everyone together to get65:39information out of a consensus65:41the decision but everything else seems65:45to just fall into place because the boom65:49commanders or his subordinates did their65:53job well or just kind of happened when65:57did he get to the battlefield when this65:59meat show up and get his birth the night66:04of day one how late on the night of is66:08almost midnight66:09so almost midnight so that’s66:11everything’s over with he has to make a66:14decision that night too I mean he there66:17he has a decision to make am I going to66:19stay here tomorrow or not what about on66:23the second66:23what are his biggest what’s his biggest66:26crisis on the second sickles yes what’s66:34what so what’s the deal with sickles66:38you’re George Gordon Meade what do you66:41think is happening on your line on the66:44second until you find out differently66:46you put your line together how are you66:49thinking what the hell are you doing66:51well no now wait a minute I said what66:53are you thinking before you find out66:54what’s it doing how would you put your66:56line together in a nice interior lines66:59on high ground you don’t probably don’t67:01even it’s right goes from it goes from67:03cold tail this is such a mess here now67:05we’re going to start over like you’re67:08doing with all these warranties67:10this is great we have boards and boards67:13co-ceo Cemetery Hill which confusingly67:18has the same initials Cemetery67:22there’s a little brown top so you think67:26you have a West Point case there so his67:31original lie on the second goes like67:34this and sickles is supposed to be in67:37the farthest left it kind of goes down67:39to Little Round Top that’s what he67:41thinks is is happening and then early in67:45the afternoon what does he find out cuz67:47happened what what is sickles done so67:51all the little kids work advance here’s67:53the peach orchard which is higher than67:56so sickles has just taken his his core67:59this is the Emmitsburg Road coming into68:02town he’s taking his core he’s put it68:04one division there and then the other68:06one my map is so bad it comes down to68:09Devil’s Den which he will see and he68:11didn’t what did he tell me about this68:16nothing did not tell me he did this so68:21now the Union line just stops right here68:23and what’s the weakness of sickles isn’t68:27that sickles the point is that this is68:28higher than this ground and sickles is68:30sensitive about that because of what68:32happened to in the Chancellorsville and68:33when you go there you’ll see that the68:35peach orchard is higher than this but68:37when he moves out there what is the68:41defensive problem with his being out68:43there along the Emmitsburg Road you can68:45just get cut off this flank was in the68:48air this life is in the air he’s just68:50floating out there all by himself with68:52his ten thousand men and so needs68:56what’s needs reaction to this what is68:58possible reactions to this what could he69:01do when he finds out this is HAP I don’t69:03mean he cursed he cursed a lot but Mead69:05Mead had a very rich vocabulary hubbub69:08vulgar isms and blasphemies that he69:12would deploy at the drop of a hat but69:13apart from that what what are the what69:17could he do here okay darn it sickles69:20has gone out there golly69:23no oh fudge he’s not worried supposed to69:26be he tried he thought about but yeah he69:33went out and looked69:34why can’t he order him back because this69:36started fighting the Confederates are69:38showing that’s right the Confederates69:40are showing up so yes he does he pulls69:48in troops from two other Corps to try to69:50shore up this this weak line and69:53somebody made the semi dismissive69:57comment Justin I don’t know who did that69:59what me did was move people around and70:01he gets a lot of points for that that is70:04essentially what he does his move people70:06around he moves them around so that his70:09life is strongest at the point of70:11greatest danger he moves them from culty70:15virtually strips everybody from our far70:17right CH site and moves them down here70:21so there’s hardly anybody left up there70:23anyways other people it’s all about70:25supporting his left flank70:27which is in real danger throughout the70:30fighting on the second and he uses these70:33inferior lines very well so he doesn’t70:35good he does a very good job of that but70:38that would be something you’d have to be70:42a really bad officer not to know how to70:45use interior lines because that’s one of70:47the things that everybody knew I mean70:49that’s a huge advantage everybody70:51nobody’s but still let’s give him points70:52for that he did a good job of that what70:56else did we do that we find that70:58especially impressive to us I mean I71:00could never understand why sequels who71:02went what why did sickles go out there I71:05could not Michelle wants to know why I71:09have chalk all over my pants and why71:11sickles went out from his line on71:13Cemetery Ridge why did he do that and71:16somebody but not you Jim I don’t want71:19you to answer this I want somebody else71:21to answer tab and Chancellor bill yeah71:23higher position those order to get it up71:25called Hazel Grove yes and what happened71:28when he gave it up that thing the United71:31States positive battle that’s right71:33other than that nothing bad happened71:35done canary so was so it’s all about71:39Chancellorsville it’s all about71:41Chancellorsville what does I mean he71:43just says and he told Henry hunt who’s71:46the union artillerist our chief of71:48artillery I can defend better from that71:50high ground than I can from back here71:53but the fallacy in that is have enough71:55men to make a line that makes sense by71:59going out to the peach orchard and72:00defending that high ground so that’s a72:04good argument in theory but on the72:06ground it doesn’t stand up all those72:09sickles dependent and sickles said What72:12did he say his move did retrospectively72:16when they’re arguing about who’s his72:18arguments what the caused me to send72:23reinforcements sooner which was kind of72:26again for to it what did it do with the72:27Confederates according to sickles72:30anybody picked up on that yeah and get72:33like saved the Union mind because the72:35killer would have gotten around their72:36flank because they were throwing dirt72:38around hops so the confederation said72:40attacked him up in the peach orchard and72:42that cave it’s almost like a delaying72:44action made them focus there and they72:47broke a lot of their strength trying to72:50carry this ground that sickles took up72:52and by the time they over ran the peach72:54orchard and wheat field they ran up72:57against Union lines that by that point72:59we’re able to hold on the high ground so73:01he argues it saved the battle and his73:04critics said it came this close to73:06undoing the army you idiot political73:11craven political Tammany Hall tool you73:14almost lost the battle by what you did73:17in his responses no that’s exactly wrong73:19by moving out there I made Longstreet73:22deployed farther away than he would have73:24and he broke himself on my line which73:27was farther to the West than it would73:29otherwise yes I would I wouldn’t part of73:35this because he was and no one else was73:44yes and so there was already a lot of73:46bad baggage to begin with and so there73:49was no trust there’s no respect and so I73:52don’t73:52I wonder if sickle would have made the73:55same decisions to disobey the orders had73:57they actually gotten along if he made he73:59had gotten along right regardless the74:01chance or a hooker had given him the74:02orders or someone that he got along with74:04him given the orders I think that I74:07think there’s no way we can let him off74:10the hook for not telling his army74:12commander what he was doing I mean you74:13just can’t do that you can’t move an74:15entire infantry Corps out of where74:19you’re ordered to be without letting74:21your commander know what you’re doing so74:23I don’t think we can let him off the74:24hook there but I do think he is it’s74:27it’s understandable because he is an74:29almost complete outsider in the high74:32command but not only because he got74:34along with hooker who was a West pointer74:36but because he is he’s a politician he’s74:38not a West pointer he has this very74:40clouded and controversial and notorious74:44history that he brought with him as well74:47and was not considered the gentleman and74:49was not coming he just doesn’t fit in it74:50doesn’t fit in at all with this in the74:53culture of the Army of the Potomac74:55but even saying all of that he’s still a74:58soldier and a subordinate and you just75:01can’t do that even if it’s the right75:03move if he had told me initially that75:06meat cooks that okay you go there and75:08we’ll do this in this and this as we set75:10up the line the Marines I’m sure are75:12going to talk to you about that line the75:15line in a number of places that hooker75:17that sickles put together didn’t have75:19enough infantry to make an infantry line75:21there are lots of places where you had75:22artillery and in the Civil War you can’t75:26have artillery all by itself it can’t be75:28by itself because it’s absolutely75:30vulnerable to infantry if it’s all by75:32itself so it was a terrible line didn’t75:34have enough men to do that it’s on the75:37other hand it took the Confederates a75:40lot of casualties to get75:41sicles line so and it’s impossible to75:46decide which of them is absolutely right75:48or absolutely wrong but I don’t think75:52it’s impossible to decide that he can’t75:55have a principal subordinate who is75:57freelances this way in a situation like76:00that but I but I want somebody to argue76:02with me if you think that that if there76:04are circumstances when you should have a76:05subordinate do that when it makes sense76:08right poor hands wet up let’s go isn’t76:10that the way that lead kind of ran76:12things right I mean to a certain extent76:14certainly not to to the point of76:16insubordination but he didn’t he push76:19down certain decision-making power and76:21say if you get to a point in the battle76:22and I’m not there and there’s a decision76:25to be made you make it and you become76:27the aggressor and so it seems like if76:29sickles had been in Lee’s army Lee might76:32have almost praised him for taking that76:35kind of an initiative I mean at what76:38point is an insubordination and at what76:40point is it just taking the initiative76:42and taking higher ground that you see is76:43better it’s that the problem with taking76:47the higher ground I think I think that’s76:49a great way to put it I think there76:50would be much more leeway in Lee’s army76:52than in the Union Army to do that but76:54the problem with the action is that he76:56doesn’t improve the army situation there76:59he creates this salient where he is hope77:01or is now completely vulnerable and77:04unless people do other things to rectify77:07that situation he’s he’s put at risk77:10basically 1/5 of the army here so I77:13think that’s his problem it’s it’s not77:15as if he’s pushing and aggressive he’s77:17not going after the Confederates here77:19he’s just funding the defensive77:20alignment but I think your point about77:23whether this kind of behavior at least77:26to a degree would be more acceptable in77:28Lee’s army I think the answer is yes to77:30that how can you explain good then we77:33didn’t let Longstreet or Hood go around77:36the flank in us exactly Lee Lee’s not77:38part of that equation77:39that’s Longstreet being a bad77:41subordinate again in my view hood should77:43have been allowed to do that Lee would77:45have allowed to do that because Lee had77:48allowed Longstreet to do77:50at Manassas he had allowed Jackson to do77:52it at Chancellorsville you get to the77:53ground and you see that the situation is77:55different and you know something that I77:58don’t know then you’re allowed to adjust78:01the circumstances on the ground and78:02that’s what hood was asking to do78:04it’s Longstreet who said no General Lee78:07told us to do it this way and we can’t78:09change General Lee’s orders78:10well Longstreet knew that wasn’t true78:12because Longstreet had changed these78:14orders at different points because all78:16of that on Longstreet I put 100% of that78:19on Longstreet because Lydia is way back78:21up by Lee has no idea what’s going on78:23and they’re not communicating with Lee78:26Longstreet is just saying Lee would not78:28allow that and so we can’t do that78:34getting back to me so the part of waters78:37kind of imposing your will of the enemy78:39was there ever a time that the Meade78:41attempted to do that because I feel like78:43he was just reacting a large part this78:45is all reactive yes right and so that78:49brings us to the next lead question and78:51Mary I saw your hand go up I’ll come78:53here in just a minute78:53what where is Meade’s opportunity to78:56impose his will on the army Northern78:58Virginia does he have any option79:06as as he’s watching the detritus of the79:10picket Pettigrew assault in front of him79:14it seems and when he has the sixth core79:17right behind him which is the biggest79:19core in the army the Potomac and it79:20hasn’t fought yet it seems like there’s79:23an option there for him to do something79:25I saw other hands go up too is that what79:29everyone was going to say now what’s the79:32counter-argument to that why what would79:37prevent his doing that give us some79:39factors late Brian it’s late is it79:43almost dark what time’s it get dark in79:47Gettysburg Pennsylvania in July of 186379:53what isn’t there in the summer of 186379:57the reason daylight savings time gets79:59dark around 8 by 8 o’clock80:02through the guard so imagine you’re in80:05Arizona and that’s what time is like in80:08Pennsylvania what and what time in the80:11afternoon is Pickett’s charge over with80:14about four we’ve got four hours of80:16daylight left now that’s either a lot of80:21time or not much time to move 15,000 men80:24around and get them to do something it80:26takes a long time to move a lot of men80:28around and get them in position to do80:30something why else might he not have80:36done anything here yeah80:43the tonier voice is so you’re I mean80:46your heart is not in that and another80:48thing maybe this and that and you know I80:50might have said you have like that or80:51yeah it seems like after a victory like80:54that put yourself in need skin what’s80:58going through your head right now81:00they’re retreating81:02I’m sorry go ahead here make your point81:04before I thought you also or I my81:07impression from the reading81:08that he was still worried that the81:10Confederates might recruit that they81:12weren’t done he’d seen so much success81:15letting them mess up on their own behalf81:17that I think that probably gave him the81:20confidence to just hang on the defense81:22even let him attack again right Scott81:25well the if I was him I would have felt81:30like we won this battle and I don’t want81:33to risk anything we would have exhaled81:34and thought wow but the big argument in81:38the essay I believe is that like in all81:41this repositioning everything every81:43other chorus had gotten like so mixed up81:45and everything was just kind of they81:48were this defensive position and it was81:51all patchwork and to Hancock was wounded81:54and if the reason three courts I think81:57it said yeah had all been badly wounded81:59and to try to regroup and get people82:02where they needed to be deleted charge82:04would have been very difficult and I82:08think your point about me he’s really82:10new on the scenes this is Earth’s huge82:12battle he’s in charge of the entire army82:13to see success and then say okay and now82:16I’m going to go82:17the Confederates firm and the you know82:21leadership styles stuff it seems like82:23that would be a big stretch for Emily at82:26this point yeah I personally think82:30that’s a lot of what’s going on but just82:33flip this the scenarios though can you82:35imagine that Lee would let an82:38opportunity like that go by I really82:41can’t imagine that I think he would have82:43put something together and tried to do82:45something – because it’s chaotic I mean82:48it wait82:49how many we’ve been I can’t remember I82:51know I asked him how many of you been to82:52Gettysburg how many they’ve stood on82:53Cemetery Ridge and looked I mean you82:56know what that Vista is like and to see82:58nothing but defeat and chaos on the part83:03of your opponent as far as you can see83:07in both directions in front of your line83:08I mean that is something Porter83:12Alexander he talks about the Union83:14experience of Chancellorsville when they83:16started to retreat from the clearing of83:19Chancellorsville and Alexander hurried83:21his guns his battalions of artillery83:23down into position to where they could83:26fire into this is he put a defenseless83:29mass of retreating man he said that’s83:31the part of a battle that can be83:33denominated pie that’s what you wait for83:36that’s what you dream up and then you83:38just inflict the greatest possible83:41damage at that point and that’s not83:43happening in the wake of the picot83:45Pettigrew assault it’s not at all what83:49about over the next several days what83:52what happens over the next one what is83:54Lee what date is Lee retreat the port83:59same day Vicksburg surrenders God is on84:03the side of the United States is what84:05the people in the United States decide84:07it’s the fourth of July and we’ve won84:09two big victories so Lee hands for the84:12Potomac84:13what is he fine84:18he’s retreating in this gigantic84:21rainstorm the rivers up and he can’t get84:25across how many days before he can get84:29across and ten days he can’t get across84:36and how much fighting takes place in84:39those ten days84:42no it’s God but but that’s probably good84:46for the Union because at least the way84:49that Alexander described it they’ve84:51become so entrenched in that defensive84:53position even though that their backs84:55are to the river into the wall that they84:58were like hoping for a battle at that85:00point they were they were I’ll just ask85:04you to flip this around again the85:05Federals are hunkered down along the85:07Potomac they’re about forty-five85:08thousand of them and there are 80,00085:13Confederates who are coming after them85:15and they want the Confederates to attack85:18I think the can think it’s just it’s85:20just an interesting contrast in mindsets85:25or cultures of command or whatever you85:28want to call it it’s a very striking85:30contrast it really is it’s I mean Lee is85:36encumbered by these huge trains of85:38wounded man I’m trains wagon trains they85:40call them trains his train stretched85:43total supplies and wounded he has more85:49than 40 miles of trains on different85:52roads heading for the Potomac forty85:54miles as he leaves the battlefield that85:57seems like a pretty vulnerable target86:00yeah I’m shocked even if the union’s86:03head and kind of surrounded them or86:05Indian just lightly engaged you have86:08kept them from crossed they can’t cross86:09if they’re engaged wait yeah they’re not86:12even pressing all-out attack but just no86:13need to harass and then definitely half86:16of them yeah but they can’t cross if86:18they’re under fire right and in the end86:20Lee gets across in one night crosses his86:23army in one night he did the same thing86:25after Antietam one night that’s86:28incredibly efficient going across the86:30Potomac there it’s I I think I think86:36Meade is in a really hard position and86:39does a really good job in a lot of ways86:41but I can understand Lincoln’s86:44frustration in the wake of Gettysburg86:48I really can relying upon the council87:02officers I didn’t get the sense that87:05there was a big boys repelling there’s87:09not there’s there’s there’s not there’s87:13no one saying you must you’ve got to let87:16me do this just let me go even if no one87:18else goes let me know I think87:30I think it’s cultural I think it’s I87:33think that the whole reaction on the87:36part of these union officers is part of87:39this McClellan culture that was so87:43profoundly important in the forging of87:47the army and it’s absolutely and the87:49clouds absence makes no difference and87:51is still there even though McClellan87:53isn’t there anymore and this most87:55aggressive corps commander is Hancock87:57and Hancock is his wound is really badly88:02wounded and and Reynolds his most senior88:06corps commander is dead so not that he88:09was that aggressive but that may be part88:11of it so you’ve got new people in88:13command of those Corps to just as usual88:15as new and who knows what he’s going to88:17do now you have new people in command88:19and sickles so there’s somebody new in88:21command of the 3rd Corps in command of88:23the 1st Corps incoming it’s in command88:24of the 2nd Corps but the 6th Corps88:28hadn’t even thought it’s the biggest one88:29in the Army it seems like the 6th Corps88:31would have been available for at least88:36light harassing duty something something88:41Scott is another kind of positive on me88:46one of the things that I saw is a88:47contrast and images because and they88:50have just been because of the situation88:51was when the Federals were under fire88:56and and you know he was taking his88:58headquarters were taking fire he still89:01like got out there and went and like89:04checked in with almost around Anders and89:07what I mean they have a good story about89:09the he tells the story about the guys89:12hip standing behind the wagon and how it89:14didn’t give any more protection yeah89:16whereas it seems like me at least in89:18this situation is very removed89:22any of the actual combat and I know I89:25saw that as something that was an act of89:28valor to still be out there in the89:30trenches when he’s at risk right well he89:35definitely is moving around the89:37battlefield he lead acted that way at89:39Antietam moving all over the line and89:40coming under fire I think we pretty much89:43stayed close to where the Virginia89:45Monument is now when you’re there you’ll89:46have a good sense of where he was and he89:48was and just sort of yeah listening to89:51fighting to his left fighting to his89:53right and he’s not moving all around89:56nope nope I’m not sure what his presence89:59his presence down were hood in90:01Longstreet were would have made a90:03difference I think because i i’ve no90:05doubt leo said well sure move around90:06there that makes sense you can get clear90:09around the flank that way but anyway90:12hood didn’t get to go and then hood got90:14shot almost immediately90:17hideous wound a very bad wound for old90:20hood90:26nobody’s gotten a neat tattoo I guess90:28since we met last time not a single one90:30I think need but I’m also I have a real90:35sense you’re much more interested in Lee90:37here he seems more interesting to you90:42why is that how why is he more90:44interesting to you so take us back91:00Alexander account he was even proper91:04enough to go to Tennessee and I think91:06Longstreet Montreat want wanted to yeah91:08yeah oh no no absolutely and it’s a91:17question it underscores how important he91:20was because virtually everybody else we91:22talked about this I think we did I can’t91:24remember I’m pretty sure we did they91:27debated this in April and May the91:28Confederates how to allocate their91:30resources and most people politicians91:32generals and Jefferson Davis favored91:35weakening Lee and reinforcing either the91:38army dependent Vicksburg or Braxton91:40Bragg’s army which was essentially91:42defending Chattanooga and they made good91:46arguments and but Lee said no and in the91:49end Davis91:50wouldn’t go against me which is a91:52measure of the argument in a loans are91:57in him the two books that you are92:00looking at non Connelly that argue that92:03Lee was just one of many generals he92:05says the same as all the others he’s not92:06the same as all the others he’d be they92:08get five votes and he gets five and a92:10half boats in this Lincoln when he took92:13when he pulled his cabinet and everybody92:14voted no and he voted yes and then he92:16said the eyes have it it’s that kind of92:18thing with Lee it’s hard to go against92:21the only guy who ever wins anything for92:23you it’s really hard to do Harriette92:25anything though if we move so far you92:28don’t remember what92:29going to say well I think it’s92:31interesting that we find leave we92:34definitely may because we brought a lot92:36more about him but at the end of the day92:38I’d rather be mean with the right92:39strategy than charismatic slightly92:42dogmatic and Lee with the wrong strategy92:44so it’s just really interesting to think92:47that Mead because he didn’t go on the92:50offensive to be more likely his harshly92:52criticized and Lee who basically loses92:55the war because he will not do anything92:58but be the aggressor now you’re93:01channeling now I know him that’s right93:03Lee loses the war because he’s too93:05aggressive you could also say that means93:07not be you don’t say means not be more93:09likely because obviously he’s not be93:10more like grant who also would have done93:13something to hurt the rebels after93:15pursuing grant would have been all over93:17them to me does empower people though93:21right like he just empowers the top93:23level at the decision-making point and93:25then expects people to listen well by93:29empower you mean listens to their93:31arguments and then makes it yeah sure93:34yeah he does he does yep I wouldn’t say93:38that I think you know you look at the93:39two people that from the war that are93:42still have these huge sizes these are93:43Lincoln and Lee and I think that the93:44reason they had this perceived or93:47publicly perceived ideology that they93:49were operating on and I think that’s93:50what people like find fascinating that93:52they were so yeah there’s a slower Lee93:56being driven by it is like love for home93:58and Lincoln major by you know his like94:02love of country or however you know and94:05the whole nation and so I think that94:06people find that fascinating that they94:08were so Dhirubhai that that that it like94:10dictated all of their actions and in94:12fact of the way and so I think that’s94:14why you know ends up being this94:15long-term fascination whereas me like94:17did the right things but it’s like94:18there’s not a backstory there I think94:20it’s harder to like connect with why he94:22did the things he did94:25and with Lee it’s also I think I mean if94:28you all of these qualities that people94:31like would have meant nothing if he94:33haven’t won a bunch of victories in 186294:35and 1861 the matter oh he’s a great94:37Christian gentleman yeah but he’s a94:39loser let me toss to all these battles I94:41don’t care buddy but letting be a94:43preacher not a general because he’s not94:45many battles that’s the key that’s the94:47real people Lee is that he wins battles94:49and gives civilians hope that’s the key94:53all the other stuff is nice wonderful94:56dressing in gigas and scrollwork and94:58crown moldings but the basic thing is95:03that he’s successful and successful to95:08the degree that Gettysburg isn’t held95:11against him that’s what to me is one of95:13the most remarkable aspects of his95:16position in the Confederacy Gettysburg95:18essentially has no impact on his95:21reputation none none it’s amazing but95:29true amazing but true it really is okay95:34we’re a minute over will do subordinates95:38next week I’m going to bring a musket95:40next week I have to drive to Washington95:42or would have brought it tonight and who95:43knows in Washington with a musket what95:45might happen to me but I will have it95:47next week when we end what I already95:51gave you hardtack tonight I didn’t bring95:56hardtack know you’ll get hardtack to95:58hardtack and a must96:01you’ll be the only kids on your block96:03with hardtack I promise
Klopp has been a forcefully endearing figure since long before he landed in Liverpool. As a player at Mainz in the second tier of German soccer, he described himself as having fourth-division skills but a first-division brain. Those skills still made him one of the club’s all-time leading scorers, even as a defender, since he would routinely shift into attack when Mainz badly needed a goal, which was often.
“I was watching, but not specifically him,” said Andi Herzog, a former Austrian star now managing the Israeli national team. “Nobody knew that he would be the best coach in the world.”
Klopp was so popular at Mainz that the club made him its manager immediately after he quit playing in 2001. Over the next 14 years, first at Mainz and then at Borussia Dortmund, he refined his coaching style. Klopp called it “heavy-metal football.”
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His personal style is more dad rock. While the top European managers wear tailored designer suits, Klopp dresses like he’s taking his kids to kindergarten in Brooklyn. His take on sideline couture includes tracksuits, baseball caps and running shoes, all topped off with a thick beard and hipster glasses.
“Everybody’s gotta have their statement thing,” said Florida football coach Dan Mullen, a Liverpool die-hard and Klopp admirer. “I wear my visor. He’s got his little beard-glasses look.”
But the way Klopp handles himself—not how he looks—is the reason he’s adored. Mullen gushes about how he adapts his system to his players. Claude Le Roy, the French manager of Togo’s national soccer team, envies his ability to sidestep the shenanigans of many other coaches in the game. “He’s a natural leader,” said Le Roy, who has never met him. “He proves that you don’t have to insult people, that you don’t have to cheat, that you don’t have to constantly repeat, ‘I’m the boss.’”
Gregg Berhalter, the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, played in the German second division when Klopp was starting out, but he could already tell that the intense, sometimes maniacal young coach on the sideline had a special quality. “He gives a sense of being a real person,” Berhalter said. “People relate to that.”
Klopp is the latest in a series of highly successful coaches over the last decade—Pete Carroll, Joe Maddon, Kerr himself—who have reimagined their position of authority for the 21st century. They are highly respected but not tyrannical. They have a metronomic pulse of their locker rooms. They’re not necessarily strategic geniuses, but they have an unmatched ability to unlock talent, and they maintain their own power by empowering their players.
“You can sometimes feel a coach’s influence,” Kerr said. “When a team takes on the personality of a coach, you feel this connectedness and this collective will, and then magic happens.”
Klopp’s players feel it more than most. As they come off the field, their 6-foot-3 boss doesn’t bother with a formal handshake. He wraps them in bear hugs.
A touchy, feely cheerleader is not what you would expect from a manager in the most cutthroat league on earth—let alone a German one. But even Germany can’t get enough of Klopp’s schtick. At a time when the nation’s economy is screeching to a halt, he is seen as a model of modern management: Klopp recently posed for a national magazine called Manager under the headline “Der Feelgood-Boss.”
Alexander Stöckl, Der Feelgood-Boss of Norway’s powerhouse ski-jumping team that dominated the last Olympics, is not a soccer fan so much as he’s a Klopp fan. “He has an aura that fascinates many,” Stöckl said. “It seems to me has a fantastic philosophy of coaching.”
That philosophy demands total commitment from his players. While soccer’s attacking ideal in the late 2000s became the intricate passing play of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, Klopp was developing a violently athletic approach based on fast breaks and high pressure. The battle between the two styles is now playing out in the Premier League, where Klopp’s Liverpool and Guardiola’s Manchester City are battling for the title for a second straight year—they’ll meet for the first time this season at Anfield on Sunday.
And there will be at least one coach of a championship team watching from eight time zones away. Kerr, whose sister lives in England and whose nephews are Arsenal supporters, had always enjoyed English soccer even if he didn’t know much about it. But he knew enough to know that he needed to adopt a team for himself. He’d been captivated by Egyptian star Mo Salah in the World Cup. Salah played for Liverpool. Kerr was suddenly a Liverpool fan.
“I randomly (or not-so-randomly) picked them because of one player,” Kerr said. “But it was, like, oh my god, there’s all this other stuff that’s so awesome to follow.”
He quickly learned about the show tune fans sing before kickoff whose refrain has become Liverpool’s mantra. ”YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!” Kerr tweeted after the victory over Barcelona. And he immediately gravitated toward the one aspect of the sport that he did know something about.
“I started to notice Jürgen Klopp,” Kerr said. “You could just see what a bright guy he was, his emotional intelligence and his love for his players without sacrificing that competitive fire—in fact actually fueling it.”
Kerr is still waiting to meet Klopp. Which makes him like pretty much every member of Klopp’s fan club. But until they can meet him, they have to settle for pretending to be him.
Liverpool’s wild 4-0 win to erase a 3-0 deficit in their Champions League semifinal against Barça happened on May 7. The Warriors, without Kevin Durant, came from behind to beat the Rockets on May 8—one of the most satisfying wins in Kerr’s coaching career.
Kerr decided this was the perfect time to channel his inner Klopp. Klopp had given himself permission to swear after determining that children were probably asleep by then. Kerr made sure he apologized to his mother before calling his players bleeping giants.
Three weeks later, Kerr was coaching in the NBA Finals once again, and Klopp was dealing with some business of his own: Liverpool was busy winning the Champions League.
Donald Barr, the controversial and outspoken headmaster of the Dalton School, one of the city’s largest and most selective private schools, has resigned in protest of what he considers the trustee’s interference with his leadership.
“Everyone knows that I am somewhat anachronistic in my views of the educational leadership of a school,” Mr. Barr wrote in a letter yesterday to faculty members and parents. “I am not comfortable with the definition of board‐head relations that I see becoming current in schools everywhere.”
Mr. Barr’s resignation, which the board says was not requested and not expected, comes after 10 frequently stormy years as head of Dalton, which is housed in an 11‐story, brick building at 108 East 89th Street.
Question of Authority
The source of conflict between the strong‐minded Mr. Barr and his 20‐member board seemed to center on the question of where the board’s authority should yield to the headmaster’s judgment. There was apparently no one incident that prompted the resignation, but the confrontation was exacerbated by financial pressures that have forced the school to set priorities.
“The issue is the prerogatives of the board and the headmaster,” said Richard Ravitch, a construction company executive who is president of the board. “My sense of trusteeship and my understanding of the requirements of the state law And the bylaws of the school all say to me that it is the obligation of the trustees of an institution to make all the policies.”
Ironically, the present board of trustees includes many parents who rose to Mr. Barr’s defense when a faction of the former board and some of the parents sought his ouster in 1971. He was accused then of turning a “humanistic, progressive” school into one in which “discipline and authoritarian rule” were the hallmarks.
The issues then had nothing to do with this issue now,” Mr. Ravitch said. “All of us who are now officers of the board were supportive of him in that fight and supported his educational philosophy.”
if the acceptance and love of others as they are is the essence of Christianity, then the acceptance of our loneliness and doubt in a world far beyond our understanding is the core of all non-fundamentalist religion.
pg 219 Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul
What religion can be at its most sublime is the fusion of that wonder we should really feel all the time in the presence of God. What religion can be at its most sublime is the fusion of that wonder with practical life. It is the marriage of the poetic and practical modes of experience. This does not require the imposition of fixed rules and doctrines, although they may be helpful guides from time to time. It requires a constant reimagination of the potential of life lived on earth as if it were heaven. It requires letting go of our desire not to let go. Jesus saw it in children. One of his most radical teachings was the notion that only if we become like children will we enter the kingdom of God.
Children love rituals, and their games are full of them. Perhaps because they are not yet fully formed, every moment matters more. We older types have sometimes become inured to the wonder and mystery of everything.
These moments may come upon us when we least expect them. We may see flashes of eternity in the simple grin of a child in a game of hind and seek, in the approach of the tide on an autumn afternoon, in the eyes of a lover in sex, or in grandmother’s ritual– but we know them when we see the. The key is to be open to them, because they happen all the time, all around us. But we are too “busy” to notice.
The opposite of this kind of faith is fundamentalism: the constant recourse to abstraction and authority or text.