The Ideologues

Who are the intellectuals who form the core of the modern neo-Confederate movement? And what exactly do they think?

The contemporary neo-Confederate movement grew largely out of the ideas of a very specific set of Southern intellectuals, many of them professors at Southern universities and colleges.

Even before the movement began to take organizational shape with the 1994 formation of the League of the South (LOS), several members of this group of mainly white men were well along in an attempt to dramatically revise mainstream historical thinking about the culture and politics of the South, the nature of slavery, the causes of the Civil War, and the role of the federal government.

As a general matter, most of the thinkers profiled below support the South's right to secede; believe the North started the Civil War over tariff issues or states' rights, not slavery; say that President Lincoln always secretly intended the war as a way to rob the states of their power and create a federal behemoth, and only used the slavery question as an excuse; and, in at least some cases, see the civil rights era as an evil because it had the effect of increasing federal power relative to that of the states.

The 10 people described here are key ideologues in the neo-Confederate pantheon, but they are scarcely alone.

In fact, more than 30 professors work with the Institute for the Study of Southern Culture and History run by the LOS, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as a hate group since 2000.

Forty-one professors, many of them already teachers at the LOS institute, signed the "Statement of College and University Professors in Support of the Confederate Battle Flag Atop the South Carolina Statehouse" in 2000.

And another 30-plus professors are associated with the Georgia-based Abbeville Institute, a teaching facility very similar to the LOS institute that also shares many of its professors.


Thomas DiLorenzo
Economics professor, Loyola College // BALTIMORE, Md.

Thomas Fleming
President, Rockford Institute // ROCKFORD, Ill.

Michael Andrew Grissom
Free-lance writer // WYNNEWOOD, Okla.

J. Michael Hill
Former history professor, Stillman College // KILLEN, Ala.

James Everett Kibler
English professor, University of Georgia // ATHENS, Ga.

Walter Donald "Donnie" Kennedy
Free-lance writer // SIMSBORO, La.

Donald Livingston
Philosophy professor, Emory University // ATLANTA, Ga.

Grady McWhiney
Retired history professor, University of Alabama // ABILENE, Texas

Clyde Wilson
History professor, University of South Carolina // COLUMBIA, S.C.

Franklin Sanders
Free-lance writer // WESTPOINT, Tenn.