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  • Re Townes Van Zandt vs Dylan.
    IMO, Dylan was a 2nd-rate poet who had the smarts to put his poems to music – and get other people to sing them.

    With both his own work and covering others, Van Zandt was marvelous, but from what I’ve read, he was a poster child for the ‘brilliant-but-screwed-up-artist’ meme.

  • Re Lincoln: The question is whether or not he would have issued the proclamation if it had not been almost a political necessity. Aside from gaining more enthusiasm and recruits, the major impact of the proclamation had nothing to do with slavery per se. The Union naval blockade of Southern ports was reasonably effective, but was threatened by a strong pro-Confederate bloc in Great Britain. It was London bankers who held the debt of the big Southern landowners and who financed the cotton trade which was important to the British economy. The British Navy could have broken the American naval blockade of the Confederacy and there was pressure to do so. After Lincoln’s proclamation, the British government dared not aid the South, since the British public was strongly opposed to slavery.

    The British millworkers, btw, stood solidly against their own interests by opposing the South. Well done, chaps!

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