Edward Sebesta’s Publicity Stunt

We’ve had new developments on the efforts of Edward H. Sebesta, co-editor of The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader (2010), in his seemingly ceaseless efforts to refuse to have the book considered for a prize sponsored by the Museum of the Confederacy.  Apparently Mr. Sebesta shared with H-Memory (a part of the H-Net system, which hosts discussion boards on various historical subjects) with a post entitled “Need advice on how to prevent getting an award from the Museum of the Confederacy” (here it is).  According to Mr. Sebesta, “My co-editor wants the award and I strenuously object to getting the award” (the co-editor in question is James Loewen).  Trouble in paradise?

It’s hard to take this ruckus seriously.  Moreover, the debate is really between Mr. Sebesta, his co-editor, and the press.  He’s made his wishes known to the Museum of the Confederacy, and that institution’s responded.  He’s powerless in that respect.  He’s also free to denounce the MOC, just as he has made a career of denouncing anything with which he does not agree (look up “Edward H. Sebesta” in the H-Net archives for proof of that).  He even chided Civil War Memory‘s Kevin Levin on the proper use of language.

I believe Mr. Sebesta’s actions embarrass the very causes he seeks to advance, and make easy cannon fodder for his critics.  His complaint rests upon a fundamental misunderstanding of the Museum of the Confederacy’s current mission and practice.  Nor am I alone in wondering exactly what’s going on here.  Perhaps this is in fact a skilled publicity campaign on behalf of the book, and, given the silence of co-editor Loewen and the University Press of Mississippi, that’s not an unfair conclusion.  Unfortunately, more and more the discussion is going to be about Mr. Sebesta’s behavior and not the contents of the book.  But that’s not my problem.

That said, I want to point out something.  Mr. Sebesta claims to be against the Confederate battle flag … so much so that he’s designed an “anti-Confederate flag” that’s the perfect holiday present for someone you don’t like or who has no taste whatsoever.  Yet both of the books where he appears as an editor carry images of the Confederate battle flag.  Why is this?  Why did he not only allow but is evidently seeking to cash in on the use of a symbol he claims is profoundly racist?  Why didn’t he protest this?  Certainly a man of principle would want to be consistent, especially when he spews forth such indignation at people who do not meet his standards of belief and behavior.

Mr. Sebesta is a man of one simple principle: the promotion of Edward H. Sebesta.  And, should anyone try to tie me to him in order to craft some sort of guilt by association, I’ll point out that he lives in Texas, and so Texans have a lot to answer for, yet again.

This is a time for serious people, Mr. Sebesta, and your fifteen minutes are up.

7 thoughts on “Edward Sebesta’s Publicity Stunt

  1. Lyle Smith December 10, 2010 / 4:49 pm

    Boo… to the cheap shot at Texas in the last paragraph. As you wrote supra, he’s all about himself… best to leave it at that.

    Excellent point about his book covers, by the way.

    • brooksdsimpson December 10, 2010 / 5:04 pm

      I’m married to a Texan, so I’m exempt. 🙂

  2. Lyle Smith December 10, 2010 / 9:06 pm

    I knew I was missing something. 🙂

  3. Brooks D. Simpson January 27, 2011 / 11:09 am

    I find this of interest.


    “Mr. Loewen taught at Tougaloo College and the University of Vermont. After his critique of K-12 U.S. history textbooks, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, became a bestseller in 1996, he became an independent scholar based in Washington, DC. More recent books include LIES ACROSS AMERICA: WHAT OUR HISTORIC SITES GET WRONG, and SUNDOWN TOWNS. In August, 2010, the University Press of Mississippi published THE CONFEDERATE AND NEO-CONFEDERATE READER, with a co-editor.”

    Why not name the co-editor … Edward Sebesta?

  4. LiamBurke September 4, 2012 / 7:20 pm

    I purchased “the Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader” at Appomattox Courthouse bookstore. As I started reading the first Chapter and at the end James Loewen and Edward Sebesta supported Barack Obama I knew there was a Problem. I began probing the Internet on the points of view of these 2 men and it is becoming clear these 2 authors are leftists the same leftists (Socialists, Communists, Tyrannist) they state the Republican party is in 1860. When you are involved in anything in Vermont you are primarily a Socialist, communist, Nazi, or tyrants of some sort another. So I have been snookered in providing money to these authors. The Democrat party under John Calhoun and James Thornhall has not changed from todays Democratic party which has been taken over by members who want to continue to control the masses.

    Abraham Lincoln if not assassinated would have upheld the “State Rights” of the southern states for slavery, although John Calhoun had concerns as more territory became states the south would lose 3/4 of the states to ratification of an amendment to abolish slavery.

    The issue is the Continental Congress 1787 did not provide provisions for the Federal gov to expand territory on what states are to slave or not and factoring in whether a slave owner can move to another state with slaves. Nor did the Continental Congress consider cheques and balances for the Judicial branch which is another matter for discussion. With both sides trying to impose their conditions on other states began to violate each others states rights. With regards to those who fought off the the tyrant King George of England in 1781 it is not understandable why those wanted to maintain a feudal system, slavery, even though these were africans.

    These Authors on one hand support the stoppage of slavery, but will agree to tyranny of todays Federal government from Income Tax, Federal Reserve, Social Security, Civil Rights (does not exist), Roe vs Wade a violation of the US Constitution, Welfare, Affirmative Action, Housing Urban Development, Interior Dept, Education dept, Environmental Protection agency (a grand tyranny), agriculture dept, food and Drug, Fanny Mae/Freddy Mac, Medicare/medicaid, and NOW Healthcare with a look forward towards Carbon Tax and taking all arms and property away from the people. All a Complete violation of the US Constitution. Apparently Leowen and Sebesta will support these Constitutional violations as the union did in 1860, although the south should not had had a feudal system in the first place after removing there own tyranny in the face of the British government.

    These authors mention Sarah Palin and Rick Perry, indirectly, both Constitutional supporters from the Republican party as being bad people. Because they support a modern secession of states in lieu of accepting the tyranny of the US Government. IF the US government continues down the path it is going States will begin to secede. States themselves has given up their right to vote for electors who then choose the PResident and Vice-President. We are left with a popular vote by state which has led us down the path of factions (Federalist papers) where everyone wants their handout. IF states maintained their right to choose the US Executive we would not be in the mess we are in today. STOP THE POPULAR VOTE BY STATE. Follow Article II Section 1 of the US Constitution.

    • Andy Hall September 5, 2012 / 5:35 am

      You apparently didn’t read far enough into the book to recognize that, regardless of the political leanings of the editors, the core of the book is the words and writings of actual Confederates and their allies. #polemicFAIL.

    • Khepera September 5, 2012 / 7:43 am

      You’re a bit late to the party. . .but I thought that I should point out (to paraphrase) that people who live in glass agendae shouldn’t throw stones.

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