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August 23 , 2008

Slavery And Public History

The Tough Stuff of American Memory


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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Dickory Cronke

THE DUMB PHILOSOPHER, OR, GREAT BRITAIN’S WONDER; CONTAINING:I.  A faithful and very surprising Account how Dickory Cronke, a Tinner’s son, in the County of Cornwall, was born Dumb, and continued so for Fifty-eight years; and how, some days before he died, he came to his Speech; with Memoirs of his Life, and the Manner…

Edited by noted historians James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, this collection explores current controversies and offers a bracing analysis of how people remember their past and how the lessons they draw influence American politics and culture today. Bringing together some of the nation's most respected historians, including Ira Berlin, David W. Blight, and Gary B. Nash, this is a major contribution to the unsettling but crucial debate about the significance of slavery and its meaning for racial reconciliation.

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