The lost cause

Is Gone with the Wind to blame for Trumpism?

‘America is merely a story the nation tells itself,’ the historian and cultural critic Sarah Churchwell writes in The Wrath to Come. Of the many American stories, few are more disturbing than the complex one represented by the rioter Kevin Seefried inside the Capitol on 6 January 2020. He carried the Confederate battle flag to a place it had never before been: the hall outside the United States Senate chamber. There is a photograph of him standing between two portraits – one of Charles Sumner, an abolitionist beaten half to death on the Senate floor for his views; the other of Senator John Calhoun, one of the South’s most ardent