Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Religion and the Politics of Race in the Civil War and Beyond is my first book. It is the culmination of 8 years of research, writing and editing. It began as an introductory chapter to my Gettysburg Staff Ride text dealing with the role of religion and racism in war since we were still at war with people for whom religion was a major motivating factor.
This led me to begin exploring those topics in relationship to the American Civil War, and the civilian and military leaders. This led me to do more research into the roots of slavery in the English Colonies that became the United States and the role of religion in informing Evangelical Christians about it in the South and North following the Second Great Awakening. In reading the accounts of Evangelical leaders, pastors, professors, and lay people on both sides I was fascinated and at times horrified to read the words of pro-slave power Southern preachers regarding their views on how Blacks were less than human and that slavery was their natural state. Their words were chilling and reminded me so much of the Nazi leaders words about the Jews that ultimately resulted in the Holocaust.
Since I began writing the book I have been astounded to see the open rise of intense White and Christian Nationalism that was the bedrock of the Confederacy growing in our country. This includes the rise of heavily armed domestic terrorist groups, little different than the KKK, White League, and Red Shirts; who openly espouse the views of their predecessors. They are unashamed in regard to their racism, and goals of overthrowing the U.S. Government and Constitution, and the use of violence and voter suppression techniques not seen since the end of Reconstuction and Jim Crow.
However, to quote William Shakespeare ”What’s past is prologue.” That is why this book is so relevant today. The description of the book by the publisher states this well:
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory is a hard-hitting history of the impact of racism and religion on the political, social, and economic development of the American nation from Jamestown to today, in particular the nefarious effects of slavery on U.S. society and history. Going back to England’s rise as a colonial power and its use of slavery in its American colonies, Steven L. Dundas examines how racism and the institution of slavery influenced the political and social structure of the United States, beginning with the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Dundas tackles the debates over the Constitution’s three-fifths solution on how to count Black Americans as both property and people, the expansion of the republic and slavery, and the legislation enacted to preserve the Union, including the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act—as well as their disastrous consequences.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory squarely faces how racism and religion influenced individual and societal debates over slavery, Manifest Destiny, secession, and civil war. Dundas deals with the struggle for abolition, emancipation, citizenship, and electoral franchise for Black Americans, and the fierce and often violent rollback following Reconstruction’s end, the civil rights movement, and the social and political implications today.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory is the story of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders; slaves and slaveholders; preachers, politicians, and propagandists; fire-eaters and firebrands; civil rights leaders and champions of white supremacy; and the ordinary people in the South and the North whose lives were impacted by it all.
Critical reviews include those which are going to be on the back of the book include but are not limited to these:
“A richly documented history of the ideology of racism that manifested itself in slavery, the Confederacy, the overthrow of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the myth of the Lost Cause that glorified the Old South and the Confederacy.”—James M. McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
“Steven L. Dundas brings us a powerful history, not only of slavery but, and even more important, of the consequences of untruths and how twisted religious beliefs shaped America. All educators should read it and ensure that its message is delivered to their students.”—Joseph J. Levin Jr., cofounder and emeritus board member of the Southern Poverty Law Center
“Steven L. Dundas has written the definitive account of America’s onerous history with African Americans. A must-read to fully understand, teach, or discuss the institutions of slavery, racism, and religion and their current impacts. Every school library should have a copy.”—Lloyd V. Hackley, president and CEO of Hackley and Associates and former president of the North Carolina Community College system
“Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory is a book for our time. Steven L. Dundas has skillfully woven slavery, race, racism, politics, and religion into a single entity in telling this country’s complex story. Every American would profit from reading what he is telling us.”—Charles B. Dew, author of Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
The book can be pre-ordered at any of the following online locations:
Barnes and Noble
Blackwell’s Bookstore, United Kingdom