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Beyond the Battlefield : Race, Memory and the American Civil War - David W. Blight

Beyond the Battlefield

Race, Memory and the American Civil War

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During the past decade and a half, scholars have increasingly addressed the relationship of history and memory. Among American historians, David W. Blight has been a pioneer in the field of memory studies, especially on the problems of slavery, race, and the Civil War. In this collection of essays, Blight examines the meanings embedded in the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War, the nature of changing approaches to African American history, and the significance of race in the ways Americans, North and South, black and white, developed historical memories of the nation's most divisive event.

The book as a whole demonstrates several ways to probe the history of memory, to understand how and why groups of Americans have constructed versions of the past in the service of contemporary social needs. Topics range from the writing and thought of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois to a comparison of Abraham Lincoln and Douglass on the level of language and memory. The volume also includes a compelling study of the values of a single Union soldier, an analysis of Ken Burns's PBS series The Civil War, and a retrospective treatment of the distinguished African American historian Nathan I. Huggins.

Taken together, these lucidly written pieces offer a thoroughgoing assessment of the stakes of Civil War memory and their consequences for American race relations. Beyond the Battlefield demonstrates not only why we should preserve and study our Civil War battlefields, but also why we should lift our vision above those landscapes and ponder all the unfinished questions of healing and justice, of racial harmony and disharmony, that still bedevil our society and our historical imagination.

Industry Reviews

"This is a tremendous collection of essays. The author is, beyond question, the leading scholar of the collective memory of the Civil War, the leading scholar of race and collective memory, and one of the two or three leading scholars of American memory generally." - Scott A. Sandage, Carnegic Mcllon University

Introduction: The Confluence of History and Memoryp. 1
Several Lives in One: Frederick Douglass's Autobiographical Artp. 11
They Knew What Time It Was: African Americans and the Coming of the Civil Warp. 28
No Desperate Hero: Manhood and Freedom in a Union Soldier's Experiencep. 53
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: A Relationship in Language, Politics, and Memoryp. 76
"For Something beyond the Battlefield": Frederick Douglass and the Struggle for the Memory of the Civil Warp. 93
A Quarrel Forgotten or a Revolution Remembered? Reunion and Race in the Memory of the Civil War, 1875-1913p. 120
The Shaw Memorial in the Landscape of Civil War Memoryp. 153
Healing and History: Battlefields and the Problem of Civil War Memoryp. 170
Fifty Years of Freedom: The Memory of Emancipation at the Civil War Semicentennial, 1911-1915p. 191
Homer with a Camera, Our Iliad without the Aftermath: Ken Burns's Dialogue with Historiansp. 211
W. E. B. DuBois and the Struggle for American Historical Memoryp. 223
In Retrospect: Nathan Irvin Huggins, the Art of History, and the Irony of the American Dreamp. 258
Epilogue: The Riddle of Collective Memory and the American Civil Warp. 278
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781558493612
ISBN-10: 1558493611
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 29th July 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.27 x 15.8  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.5