David W. Blight’s book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory is unlike other books written about the civil war because it’s focus isn’t on the war itself but instead its on why the war began. Whats interests me about this book is that it goes against the idea that the winners write history. Even though the North won the civil war, the reconciliationists overpowered the emancipationists in the debate on why the civil war started. This resulted in the losers of the war writing the history for the war. I believe anyone with an interest in the Civil War will benefit from reading this book because it provides both sides of the story.
It seems to me that Eric Foner without a doubt enjoyed the book and most definitely agrees with Blight as well. In the end of his review Foner states that how we remember the civil war is very important. I believe historical memory is very important because it dictates what future generation is going to learn. In order for history to be accurate all sides of the story must be accounted for no matter whose on the winning side or in Blight’s case the losing side.