I too, am very concerned over the quality of history teaching and scholarship in our public schools and universities. Everything these days, seems to be ideologically and "social justice" based. As you know, "Reconstruction", as it relates to the South, after the Civil War has nothing to do with building or repairing any of the destruction from war and the "all out war" on Southern citizens, as the word implies. It had to do with a reconstructing or forcing of the South to re-enter the Union and to set aside any views of state sovereignty, basically it was to "reconstruct" thought, allegiance, basic governmental philosophy, so rebellious and independence-minded Southerners would "tow the line".
And, as far as, "Slavery was THE cause of the Civil War.", that's a lazy or uninformed response to a very complicated question. Except for a small group of New England and Kansas abolitionists, slavery had little to do with the motivation of Northerners and Southerners to take up arms against one another. Any claim that the North fought the war to free the slaves is, as Brion McLanaghan has state a "false virtue" attributed to them. The North clearly fought a war to restore the Union and the South clearly fought a war over local/state sovereignty. Slavery was as we view it today, a terrible stain on the history of the U.S., just as it is for all of the great powers throughout history who resorted to its use. But it was a LEGAL institution in the United States. Southerners did not capture the slaves, sell them to the slave ships, transport them on the slave ships, insure the slave ships. The financing of slavery and the purchasing of the end product, Cotton, was in New England or England and France. The hatred of the South for slavery is misdirected and false. Blaming the South for slavery alone, is like blaming Texas for auto emissions. Texas didn't create the US car industry and its harmful emissions, Detroit did. What if a group came to power in the US, who outlawed the use of fossil fuels or threatened it? What would Texas, Oklahoma and the other areas whose livelihoods are based on the capital generated by the oil industry do? And may I say, in these days, we have such a mindless/hysterical movement in our country, where in the right circumstances what I've just stated could happen. As you can see George, I'm also frustrated and fearful for our future.
I think we are seeing a 21st Century version of Reconstruction, as our government institutions, schools, universities and the elected and un-elected ruling class attempt to reconstruct moderate and conservative thought, including a distortion of historical fact or emphasis on historical minutiae to encourage a "federalism loving", "power to the state" citizenry.
Oh well, there I go. I'm sure that got me on a list, somewhere.