“Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin. “

The David Blight book sound very interesting because it sound like a different book that’s not only expressing different views but also questioning them. Its a book about the story behind a story. I think that anyone reading the book will benefit from it because they might learn something new and change their perspective on what really happened during the Civil war. From the reading the book review I realized that memory is a very important part of history. For example, before books history was passed down from generation to generation through stories that were  told from memory.

I believe that all shared experiences are remembered in different ways. For example, the war in Vietnam. Some people might say that the war was justified but others will say that it was  not only a waste of money and time but many lives were lost unnecessarily. Also, one can say that the war in Vietnam was worth it because it showed that the US was not a force to be reckoned with.  The war in Vietnam was politically motivated because it was during the time of the Cold War. During that time there was a lot of political tension between the communist and democratic countries.

Afterthoughts:One of the main points of the book review is there are different memories of the Civil War. In these memories some facts were suppressed and others facts were turned simply into something that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since “memory is a product of history” is history just simply a figment of our imagination since its building blocks are made up?

Title is a quote from Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams.


bloodshed in the backyard

Eric Foner’s book review of David W. Bligh’s Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory paints a picture of a very captivating and refreshingly unbiased rehash of Civil War.  There are not only just two sides to a story, there are always three.  Your side, my side and the truth.  It is apparent that in David Bligh’s  publication he has taken everyone’s opinion and beliefs into account.   Anyone that would like to learn more about the Civil War and how different and colorfully portrayed one single event could take a lot from this book.

Memory from a first hand witness can be a great primary source.  Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to not write with an ‘angry pen’ when that source has been enveloped in a traumatic events.  This is why it is extremely important to take on the testimonial of many people.  Personally Civil War history has never appealed to me but I think that after reading the praising review I would read this book for enjoyment of knowledge, not as a task.

This book has also shown how obvious it is that historical memory is crucial.  Not only does it actually tell the tale of the affair, it also shows how that tale can change over the passing of time.  As the saying goes, “Time heals all wounds.”  Weather this is true or not, I’m not sure but I do know that time always helps.  In more recent memory, a similar situation occurred during last year’s salmonella outbreak.  A class action lawsuit was filed over some rotten eggs.  Proper inspection procedure were failed to be met causing some 1’500 to become fall ill.  Some people didn’t care enough to follow the story, some people vaguely even knew about it and some people became so sick, they’ll probably never eat eggs again.  Naturally, people of different cultures, nations and upbringings have different morals and values in life.  This is where it becomes a historian’s job to sift through the diverse array of information and find the more homogeneous story.


An Untold tale

Minorities have never had a voice. Or at least one loud enough to be heard over the mainstream opinion. For David Blight to write a book and dig deep enough to uncover the other side of the civil War story is something I’d personally be interested in. Everyone would benefit from reading this book because it would crumble the biases encountered from only reading and learning a one sided history textbook.

Historical Memory is important because it is what gives us the shape of the story. Of course there is a straightforward encounter of important events that happened in history, but when you collect the memories it is a more personal and in depth account.

Everything is politcally motived. Politics are apart of every aspect of history because there is always an agenda behind something. Two sides fight to get their way, or work towards a comprimise. A republican might see the history of gay rights as negative propoganda mean while democratics would see it more so as positive.


Perception lies in the Eye of the Beholder

History is taught through the factual texts of written documents. In most cases, we often only learn about why it started and the outcome of each event, but the stories that each person carries are often left unspoken.  In the book Race and Reunion by David Blight it exemplifies the many different views that people instilled from the Civil War. In this particular case, the segregation of races construct each race’s own perception of the Civil War. This book review plays an importance on the role of historical memory because only through the pain or gratification of those people lives who have been greatly affected can manifest the truth from these events.

An example where history is remember in different ways is the Rape of Nanking.  There were perceptions of western indifference and Japanese denial of the massacre ranging from  claims that the massacre was overly exaggerated or wholly fabricated for propaganda purposes. In Japan, the japanese youth are taught about the courageous martyrs who fought a just war, while in China the mourns for this tragedy still prevails today. The controversies still exists but the Nanking massacre had undoubtedly emerged as a fundamental foundation for the construction of modern Chinese national identity.


To face the fact

After reading David Blight book, I found that was quite interesting to me because I always doubted that the actuality of history, especially the long past history, someone might falsify the truth but we didn’t know. In David Blight book he revealed the people who were forgotten by us was like discovering the truth, so it was quite interesting to me. Also I think everyone might benefit from reading this because we should learn the right history.

The book review tells me the idea that historical memory can be remembered in different way. The examples from the book review are on page 2, during 1870s, some of the Southern publications described slavery as “faithful servants who protected their masters’ property”. The second example is in 1877 after Reconstruction, most of the Northern and Southern whites accepted the Negro rule.

One of the historical memories which were remembered in different way was Nanjing massacre in1937; approximately 300,000 Chinese people were killed by the Japanese soldiers. However, now what the Japanese government trying to do is putting an invented history in their textbook. I think the reason behind this action is the Japanese government tries to fix their bad image which is “cruel murderer”.


The memory of History we never forget!!!!

David Blight’s “Race and Reunion” sounds very interesting book for me as it is clarifying the actual period of civil war era and what had happened after it. Every event in our life is a part of history. Yes, the book is clarifies the important of historical memory. From reading this book how I understood it was two opinions why the Civil War started: the emancipationists believed that slavery was a cause of the Civil War, but the reconciliationist dismissed this thought and claimed that the Civil War happened because of the disagreement in the state rights. Another example I think when my country had the orange revolution in 2005 because of president. My country is not a rich country and the president was always promised a lot of things to people, but he never did it. He sold some our lands to other countries, made deals with other presidents and all money he put to his pocket. Our president didn’t take care of our people, that’s why people tired of the poor life and promises and they made the revolution. I think different memories are politically motivated because people usually want to have positive thoughts about such figure or such event.


David Blight’s book, “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” sounds like an interesting book for me after reading the review. I think we can definitely catch up some missing information and hear some different voices of the memories. From the same piece of historical event, the Civil War, the author reveals a different version of history, “the reconciliationist vision.” It can be very interesting because it may not be the same as what we learned in our textbooks.

The true nature of historical memory is that these memories serve their political needs. There is always a one tell us what to remember and what to forget. Today, the version we read of the history may someday be challenged by other political purpose.


Thats not how I remembered it!

I found David Blight’s book fairly interesting as he tries to introduce a new way to look at past events. There are always two sides to a story and historical events are no different. Take the Civil War for instance. Although the Southerners lost the Civil War, their opinions to the cause of the war greatly differs from the opinions of Northerners. Simply said, people who retell the story of the civil war often include their bias opinions making it difficult to understand the true nature of such an historical event. For example, many white Americans remembered African Americans fighting in the Civil War merely because they were being faithful and loyal to their “masters”. In another person’s mind, the African Americans fought in hopes to end slavery. This new perspective allows readers to scrutinize how history is remembered and how it greatly influences our values on race today. In other words, David Blight’s book may give a unique insight to historians or politics.

Based on Eric Foner’s book review, historical memory plays an important role in politics. Certain periods of time such as the Civil War may have influenced many political decisions. An example would be Abraham Lincoln’s decision to start reconstruction in the south rather than administering punishment.

On December 7th, 1941 the attack on Pearl Harbor shocked many Americans. Many individuals have their own opinions and viewpoints of why such an attack was necessary. Japanese soldiers may have felt this attack was necessary in order to divert the U.S. ‘s attention from other Japanese plans in Asia. It could be possible Japanese politics felt it was time for the U.S. to be involved in WW II. Many Americans probably felt the attack was completely uncalled for, after all the U.S. had not implicitly joined into WW II. Nonetheless, many people have different opinions about the attack on Pearl Harbor and surely some opinions are more tuned to facts than others.


Remembering The Past

David Blight’s “Race and Reunion” seems to be a very good history book because it shows that some historical evens can be remembered differently. There were two opinions on why the Civil War started. The emancipationists believed that slavery was a cause of the Civil War. The reconciliationists dismissed this thought and claimed that the Civil War happened because of the disagreement in the state rights. What i found very interesting is that the book overthrows the concept that winners always get to write history. Even though the South lost the Civil War, the reconciliationists “won the war over memory”.  I think politics probably played an important role in ensuring that the Southern view of history would prevail.

Another example in history of a shared experience that is remembered in many different ways is the origins of the Cold War. People disagree over the question of who was responsible for the breakdown of American-Soviet relations. In addition, the debate over what resulted in slavery in 17th century is another example. Some people say that  slavery was a result of white racism, while others claim that racism was a result of slavery.

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 is important for people to know how history gets distorted in an absolutely unfair manner and how some books don’t speak the truth.  It is not fair when important events and people who deserve recognition are left out of the history.