How Not to Watch ‘Copperhead’
Sidney Blumenthal misunderstands a film about peace, community, and the limits of dissent—not the Union or Confederate causes.
By BILL KAUFFMAN • July 24, 2013
Excerpt: "Those who wish to investigate the Copperheads further should read the works of the late historian and Marquette University professor Frank Klement, the dean of scholarly studies of Northern opposition to the Civil War. (Oddly, Blumenthal fails to mention Klement.) For more on such hobgoblins as the Knights of the Golden Circle—“I have here in my hand a list of half a million active conspirators!”—see Klement’s Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War (1984); for more on Ohio’s Copperhead, see The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham & The Civil War (1970); for more on the geographical heart of the antiwar movement, see Klement’s The Copperheads of the Middle West (1960); for a posthumously published collection of essays, see Lincoln’s Critics: The Copperheads of the North (1999)."