The book sounds pretty interesting to me. In the book review, Eric Foner says, “‘Race and Reunion’ is the most comprehensive and insightful study of the memory of the Civil War yet to appear.” It gives a lot of information to people who get to know Civil War history straight forward from text books. As a foreign student, I would be one of them. Before coming to the Unites State, I’ve only read about Civil War from the text books when I was in school, I only knew that Civil War was about Americans from the north and south fighting over slavery and trades. However, I could get more details and facts from many other books like Race and Reunion.
The book uses Civil war as an example to emphasize how important historical memories are. Eric Font indicates that Blight has used some historical events to debate what happened during some other historical events. For example, “The origins of the reconciliationist memory, Blight argues, can be traced to debates during Reconstruction, when Republicans made a commitment to legal and political equality for the former slaves and then abandoned it in the face of violent opposition from the white South and a Northern retreat from the ideal of equality.”Eric Foner also uses the examples in the book tells us to view historical events (like Civil War) by different angles and ways.
Talking about similar examples, as a Chinese, the first thing come to my mind is the Nanjing Massacre. It was probably one of the cruelest massacres against humanity in recent history. In this event, an estimate of three hundred thousand Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered and 20,000 women were raped by soldiers of the imperial Japanese Army in the city of Nanjing, during the years of 1937-1938. The massacre also involves political elements; some Japanese nationalists argue the massacre was fabricated. While the Japanese government has records of the number of casualties after Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the Nanjing massacre perpetrated by them seems to be a forgotten issue. The exact number of killed Chinese civilians will never be disclosed as evidence was destroyed shortly after the Japanese surrender to the invasion war. Historical facts remember the massacre, while political manipulations try to clean it from the record.