This is basically some thoughts I've been having, and they've only partially coalesced.
I've recently been thinking a lot about the "political" spectrum of ACW history, historians and general enthusiasts. One well known extreme is the "Lost Cause" and many a neo-Confederate can be found on any internet forum on the war. What is less recognised is that the Lost Cause in fact occupies one wing of a spectrum of ideology about the war. For simplicity I shall put the Lost Cause as the extreme left wing of this spectrum. The extreme polar opposite I shall labelled the "Radicals" since they espouse the ideologies of the wartime Radical Republicans. In the centre would be the Conservatives.
The left and right wings are polar opposites. For example, the cause was economic or slavery at these two ends of the spectrum, neither side will acknowledge that both had an impact. Another example is Sherman's scorched earth policy, condemned as ethnic cleansing on one side, and the righteous punishment for daring to leave the Union on the other.
This ideology even extends into what theatre of war is regarded as the one of prime import. The left wing (Lost Cause) focuses heavily on Virginia and the likes of Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson, whilst the right wing (Radicals) focus on the Mississippi theatre (and, to a lesser extent the Tennessee-Kentucky theatre) and the likes of U.S. Grant and W.T. Sherman. Neither side likes any criticism of their marble men, and decry their opposites as "butchers".
My train of thought has been taken down this road by "meeting" a very extreme example of a radical on a forum. It was fairly obvious this individuals opinions were as extreme as the most ardent Lost Causer, at least as flawed but not stigmatised to the same extent. I thus got to thinking about where popular ACW history sits. To me at least it seems the vast majority of the popular histories sit to the right of the centre, although some would be centre-right, although there is every possibility I simply missed some far left schlock (I just wouldn't have read it, and thus forgotten picking it up). An example of far right schlock would be Edwin Bonekemper and his terrible books. For a position on the right the far left looks a lot more dangerous than the far right, so you attack that. The myths of the far right thus go unchallenged.
Meanwhile the centre (Conservative or Moderate) tends to get pilloried from both sides..... I'm still ruminating.