David Blight’s book “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” basically is a book of collective memory of Americans, Blacks and Whites. Based on Eric Foner’s book review, this book sounds interesting to me because as a person who has never gone through the real war, I really want to know more inside stories of Civil War besides what we have learned from the textbooks. I would recommend this book to people who have gone through the Civil War and who might interesting to know more about the consequences of Civil War from different perspectives.
As Eric Foner says in his book review, “memory is a product of history”. I completely agree with him since that sometimes what people remembered is the consequences of the history. Many historical events were been remembered in so many ways, such as in novels, in monuments and most important it is stored in people’s mind. Historical memory sometimes can reveal things that people usually did not notice. One disadvantage of that is people see things from different perspectives, so it is up to the historian to judge.
The Nanking Massacre which happened in China in 1937 is one of the examples which are remembered in many different ways. The memory of Nanking Massacre reflected in novels, movies, and monuments. I remember my teacher showed us a movie of Nanking Massacre in which it contents many of people’s accounts of what happened in Nanking Massacre.
I think different memories are politically motivated because people usually want to have positive thoughts about such figure or such event; thus, it is very hard to tell whether a person’s account is reliable or not.