Re-reading David Blight

Saw the latest Twitter blast and had to pull Professor Blight off the shelf. From the prologue:

“In many ways, this is a story of how in American culture romance triumphed over reality, sentimental remembrance won over ideological memory. For Americans broadly, the Civil War has been a defining event upon which we have often imposed unity and continuity; as a culture, we have often preferred its music and pathos to its enduring challenges, the theme of reconciled conflict to resurgent, unresolved legacies. The greatest enthusiasts for Civil War history and memory often displace complicated consequences by focusing on the contest itself…

Over time, Americans have needed deflections from the deeper meaning of the Civil War. It haunts us still; we feel it, to borrow from Warren, but often do not face it.”

David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 4.

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