BOOKS

Check in here for previously published works or to find out what new and upcoming projects Gene has been working on! 

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War’s Cost: The Hite’s Civil War

Despite an extraordinary number of Civil War studies, scholars continue to mine new resources to understand how Americans could engage in such vicious combat for four long years. Focusing on the grandsons of Major Isaac Hite, founder of Belle Grove (and brother-in-law of James Madison, author of both the Bill of Rights and the Constitution), Bétit analyzes the motivating factors that led those even of pre-military age to enlist, using a relatively new tool, Ancestry.com, to mine new data.  The book examines Southern education, slavery, the First Families of Virginia and the settlement and development of the Shenandoah Valley to understand the intense combat in that critical theater of operations.

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Collective Amnesia: American Apartheid — African American's 400 Years in North America, 1619-2019

This history of African Americans since 1619 is a saga of racism and white supremacy not covered in the mythology about the Civil War and its aftermath taught in school. Chapters cover racism and white supremacy, slavery, service of US Colored Troops in the Civil War, devastation of the South, evolution of emancipation, and Reconstruction and the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Other chapters address the “Lost Cause,” “Redemption,” Jim Crow, blacks’ significant military contributions in both world wars, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement and the backlash that continues.

Contemporary issues, including white supremacy, Confederate statuary, the status of blacks compared to others are also addressed. Note is taken of James Whitman’s book exploring Hitler’s admiration of Jim Crow and our anti-miscegenation laws, as well as Richard Rothstein’s study of housing law and whites’ responsibility for creating ghettos.

Numerous photographs, tables, maps and charts make the book easy to read.

 

Manhattan's Walloon Settlers: Jesse DeForest's Legacy

Thanks to a bold explorer, Jesse DeForest, thirty-two courageous Walloons arrived in Manhattan in June, 1624. Thirteen years later, three of his children arrived. Their descendants dispersed to Albany, Stamford, Connecticut and Hempstead. Long Island, while others remained in New Amsterdam. Three hundred years later, DeForests thrive in every state.

America’s growth is reflected by vignettes of twenty-three DeForests, plus seven from the female line, and eleven military leaders. David Curtis De Forest helped Argentina gain independence from Spain, became a wealthy privateer, and established a Yale family scholarship. DeForests (and family members with derivative names) were pioneers, farmers, clergy, explorers, industrialists, financiers, philanthropists, and missionaries who educated ex-slaves. This family’s story is a metaphor for the development of America..

War's Cost: The Hite's Civil War

Despite an extraordinary number of Civil War studies, scholars continue to mine new resources to understand how Americans could engage in such vicious combat for four long years. Focusing on the grandsons of Major Isaac Hite, founder of Belle Grove (and brother-in-law of James Madison, author of both the Bill of Rights and the Constitution), Bétit analyzes the motivating factors that led those even of pre-military age to enlist, using a relatively new tool, Ancestry.com, to mine new data.  The book examines Southern education, slavery, the First Families of Virginia and the settlement and development of the Shenandoah Valley to understand the intense combat in that critical theater of operations.

Speaking Engagements

No charge, I just want to sell my books afterward

What’s UP?

Readers may have noticed that there have been no new blog postings since September. Relevant topics from Collective amnesia have hardly been exhausted; I've simply continued reading and made several major discoveries. Of course, I've also been busy giving a number...

The “Lost Cause” — What Does It Mean?

The Southern account of the Civil War began to be written almost as soon as the guns went silent. Edward Pollard, the wartime editor of the Richmond Examiner, published his 752-page The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates in 1866....