While I agree with some of what Norman Ravitch says in his letter, I have to take exception to a couple of remarks.
First: "...no other nation has decimated its own people to this degree." This is simply not true. Many other nations have decimated their own people to a much greater degree. Are Pol Pot (and the Khmer Rouge) and the Stalinist USSR that far in the past that they are forgotten? Yes, the American Civil War wrought a horrific death toll, but you cannot say that it is the worst in history.
Second: "Slavery was not as bad as slaughter and any steps to avoid the war would have been better than the war." Slavery was not as bad as a war? First, the Civil War was not about slavery, per se; second, I think that many people (especially those that were slaves) may have disagreed with this opinion statement.
Jan 22 2008 - 12:42pm