Race And Reunion Analysis

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Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001

Thesis: Blight argues that in terms of the American Civil War memory "romance triumphed over reality, (and) sentimental remembrance won over ideological memory (5)"

Themes: One of the first themes that appears is rituals and symbolism. Parades, statues, and speeches all came about as a way to remember the war for both sides and for both the black and white race. Coffins were carried to symbolize the "death of slavery (67);" statues were erected of both black and white (mostly whites, in fact all but one were white) to commemorate the memories of these "heroes," and also to symbolize the power the white race still had over the black race. Decoration days (eventually Memorial Day) were created to remember the strength and courage, and the sacrifices of the war. Another theme of the text is fear. Many whites in the South feared that blacks would not only
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Among his monographs are quite a few biographies such as Emory M. Thomas ' Robert E. Lee: A Biography and John Hope Franklin 's George Washington Williams: A Biography. Examples of other monographs include Robert Penn Warren 's The Legacy of the Civil War, Theodore B. Wilson 's The Black Codes of the South, and David S. Reynold 's Walt Whitman 's America... He also utilizes a variety of journals for his text; some of these include Journal of American History, Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society, Filson Club History Quarterly, Journal of Southern History, Southern Culture, Sketches of War History, and Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). Examples of articles used include Jeffrey J. Crow 's "Thomas Settle, Jr., Reconstruction, and the Memory of the Civil War" and Charles C. Boldrick 's "Father Abram J. Ryan: The Poet-Priest of the

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