Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory

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Overview

America's slave past is being analyzed as never before, yet it remains one of the most contentious issues in U.S. memory. In recent years, the culture wars over the way that slavery is remembered and taught have reached a new crescendo. From the argument about the display of the Confederate flag over the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, to the dispute over Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemings and the ongoing debates about reparations, the questions grow ever more urgent and more difficult.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A chastening reminder that many are still missing the point [of black history in America], and even that the point may be more elusive than we thought. . . . Scattered throughout the book are many fascinating stories."—Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565849600
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James Oliver Horton is the Benjamin Banneker Professor Emeritus of American Studies and History at George Washington University.

Lois E. Horton is professor of history emerita at George Mason University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 Coming to Terms with Slavery in Twenty-First-Century America Ira Berlin 1

2 If You Don't Tell It Like It Was, It Can Never Be as It Ought to Be David W. Blight 19

3 Slavery in American History: An Uncomfortable National Dialogue James Oliver Horton 35

4 The Last Great Taboo Subject: Exhibiting Slavery at the Library of Congress John Michael Vlach 57

5 For Whom Will the Liberty Bell Toll? From Controversy to Cooperation Gary B. Nash 75

6 Recovering (from) Slavery: Four Struggles to Tell the Truth Joanne Melish 103

7 Avoiding History: Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and the Uncomfortable Public Conversation on Slavery Lois E. Horton 135

8 Southern Comfort Levels: Race, Heritage Tourism, and the Civil War in Richmond Marie Tyler-McGraw 151

9 "A Cosmic Threat": The National Park Service Addresses the Causes of the American Civil War Dwight T. Pitcaithley 169

10 In Search of a Usable Past: Neo-Confederates and Black Confederates Bruce Levine 187

11 Epilogue: Reflections Edward T. Linenthal 213

Notes 225

Contributors 253

Index 257

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