What is History?

David Blight’s Race and Reunion exposes the Confederates on their treatment towards the role slavery plays in the Civil War. This book interests me because, unlike other books regarding the Civil War, Race and Reunion shines light on the underrepresented credit of the African Americans.  The Confederates deny that the Civil War occurred over the issue of enslaved African Americans. They were instead remembered as ” mammies” and “loyal slaves”. Blight points out the lack of monuments representing African Americans fight in the battle, which casts a shadow on African Americans in history.

Students of American history doing research on slavery and the Civil War would benefit from Blight’s touch upon memoirs and the black press. They would attain information fully representing African Americans. Eric Foner’s high regards for the book clearly shows his interest for it, stating it as “the most comprehensive and insightful study of the memory of the Civil War yet to appear”. Foner’s inclination towards Blight’s writing results from Blight’s lucid and persuasive style of writing that touches on the many areas of the Civil War period including Memorial Day. Foner conveys the importance of how history is remembered and that every aspect of history should be brought to light in order to call it history.

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