9/11 digital archive

September 11th was a horrific, yet, historical day in American and world history.  It solidified the modern day era of radical ismlamic fundamentalists.  The 9/11 digital archive is a great way to recap the events that occured on that day.  The good thing about the website is that it pretty much has anything you need to know about 9/11 from people’s personal stories, to the  history regarding 9/11 and the aftermath.  The weaknesses of the website is a lot is based on personal opinions and does not talk about the facts.

Even though the 9/11 digital archive is based on personal stories, there is no real history regarding why the attack occured and how, America reacted with the war on terrorism.  The website is also aimed to be a memorial type website, rather than a site historians can use as a refernce for events.  In the future historians can use the website as a way of reflecting on how Americans reacted and what they think about terrorism.


Rebuilding to cover Scars

After World War 2 was won by the United States, making US to be one of the most powerful Countries in the world, Japan not only lost the war, but they were in a devastating situation after the US bombed them.  It would have taken a long time for Japan to rebuild there country without help.  Leaving many of them over time eventually bitter.

What stopped end the war with a bang!

Honestly, in my opinion I believe that if Japan would have had to rebuild their country alone, the results would have been similar to Germany anger after WW1.  A new generation of individuals would try to seek revenge.  We knew that without the US bombing Japan, they would have not stopped the war.  Leading me to believe that they would have rebuilt their country alone and stopped at nothing to avenge the lose of their home.   We would not have the current trade, and business opportunities that we have with Japan now.

I mean, Baruch College itself has Japanese students, and most of them wouldn’t be here  learning and interacting with us if the rebuilding never occurred.  Honestly what would I do without Anime.  Our involvement in rebuilding Japan lead to future economic growth, foreign trade, social and cultural enlightment and a better outlook towards the US, helping to remove scars of the war against the US and Japan.

After math of Nuclear Bomb


“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.


Cotton Field

The history of America can be said to be the history of the struggles of black people in America. Out of the many symbolic items out there, none can be as symbolic as the southern cotton fields, which served as the social and economical prison for many black slaves for generations.


History is Memory.

In the review of David Blight’s “Race and Reunion,” Eric Foner brings to light the interesting and unique aspects of the book, setting it apart from other books written about the Civil War. However, personally while I feel that I would be interested as to see for myself why exactly Foner believes that Blight’s book is worth reading and why it stands out from all the rest, I feel as if I wouldn’t enjoy it. Although it is certain that there is much I do not know regarding the Civil War because you can only learn so much from reading a couple of textbooks, I feel as though, from the way it is presented in this review, that I would not be able to view it as literature, but rather as a textbook.

From this review, I have learned that memory is what makes up a large part of history. Without memory, we would not know as much about our history as we do today. However, what is tricky about this fact is that lots of times, memory can be subjective or incomplete. Granted, historians do not rely on only one source but rather a plethora of sources so as to see what matches up and can be considered valid and certain. Memories can definitely be politically motivated. Many moments in history are caused from political distress or events. A relevant example to this article is the Civil War itself. Those who took sides had to have some political motivation that lead them to make that decision. Politics is a huge part of society also, it is only natural that it can affect everyone when discussing a national conflict.


History Put Into Perspective!!!

History is a very ambiguous subject. Sometimes our knowledge of history isn’t as precise as it could be because often times we only take into account the story from one viewpoint. History is seen through the eyes of not only one person but billions; one thing perceived by one person can be examined differently by another person. In David W. Blight’s book, “Race and Reunion” Blight recounts the importance and historical impacts of the American civil war by comprising his book from the perspective of numerous people in history. This book would be an interesting read for anybody who is fascinated by our nation’s history and would like a broader range of knowledge about the civil war from multiple angles. This book reveals that there are many sides in history to look, not just one story from one side.

Another instance in history where there were multiple sides of the story was in the 19th century, during the Europeans scramble for Africa. Once Africa was an isolated Continent with rigid cliffs on the edge of the continent which created a natural barricade to prevent foreign ships from docking. Even though some parts of Africa were able to become European ports, the thick forest and river currents made it impossible to explore the uncharted continent. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century when Europeans were able to map out the majority of Africa. Once navigating into Africa became possible there was a rush from most European countries to take control of parts of Africa. The Europeans justified their actions by calling it a mission from god that it was their duty to civilize the savage people (The white man’s burden) while the native Africans were repressed by the Europeans because the Europeans rewrote the map of Africa splitting and mixing up the tribes that have once lived on their land for centuries.


O’ rly?

After reading the review on David Blight’s book, I can tell that this book would be an informative and an interesting book to read. This book talks about the vast point of views that history can be interpreted. It all depends on how you were taught the piece of information. War history is always written by the winners. Most people don’t realize that there other sides to the story. It is safe to say the victors always portray themselves as doing the justified. I think this book would give insight to others on how history is portrayed and how foolish it would be to only look at one viewpoint of the story.

Let’s take a look at what happened in the American Revolution. To Americans it might feel as though we want to emancipate ourselves from such tyrannical British. To them it could just be them wanting to keep the American colonies and the British in unity as a group.  Looking from different perspectives can change everything. Ultimately, countries like to tell history in showing themselves as holy and justified in every aspect. Therefore history is politically driven as people can retell it as whatever they like.


A War to Remember

In the book review of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, ” by Eric Foner, it sheds light on the distorted memory of the Civil War. The Civil War may have ended, but the battle of how to remember it is still going on. When asked about their opinions on the war, a Southerner will most likely give a completely different answer than a Northerner. This is primarily because of politics. Both the North and the South wanted the memory of the Civil War to be favorable to them.  In addition, our perspective of the Civil War depends on how racial relations are in present day.

This is an important issue because historical memories are valuable sources to understanding the past. If memories are manipulated, it will present a biased, false impression of the event. There are many instances of historical happenings that result in different experiences and views. For example, the truth about the first Thanksgiving. In American textbooks, the first Thanksgiving was illustrated to be happy and harmonious. The story goes that the Pilgrims met a nice Native American, called Squanto, who taught them how to plant corn.  Out of respect, the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans for a Thanksgiving feast. However, the truth about Thanksgiving is that Pilgrims did not come up with it. Indians had been celebrating Thanksgiving for centuries. Pilgrims were never actually part of it. In the 1890s, the Pilgrims started to be tied in with the tradition after Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday.

The book is interesting because it reveals the forgotten heroes and repressed memories of the Civil War. It is a useful opportunity to enlighten the people, who previously held certain biases or reservations regarding the war.


Truth behind biased historical events

I find David Blight’s book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, to be very incisive because he brings back the unheard voices and memories of neglected African-Americans who participated in the Civil War; in order to bring forth the truth behind the biased history imprinted in our culture. African-American soldiers should be honored and given credit to because they are also heroes who sacrificed their lives for the Civil War just like the White soldiers. Everyone would benefit from reading this book because there are always two sides to a story and we get to know the other side of the story of those who also participated in the war but was neglected. Blight’s book shows the importance of historical memory because there can be politically motivated bias in historical events, in this case he brings to light the truth behind politically motivated bias of historical events that took place in the Civil War.

One example of a historical event that is remembered differently is the Rape of Nanjing. Many Chinese men and women suffered from barbaric treatment by the Japanese invaders. Many thousands of women were rape, brutally injured, mutilated and killed. However the Japanese are in denial of these actions. Japanese school textbooks, historical works, or newspapers never mentioned anything about the Rape of Nanjing. This shows that Japan is putting this historical event under the covers and pretending that this massacre never happened, their actions prove that this is most definitely politically motivated. Japans’ denial prevents its whole nation from facing history and the truth.

Rape of Nanjing Memorial Hall


Fake Memory… Revealing!

The saying, “history is written by winners,” proves that history is not always accurate as what people think. In fact, history is accurate at all because people have their own views of history, and difference between them is whether they are close to accuracy or not. I think the book “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” by David W. Blight sounds very interesting because what he does in the book is to reveal the different aspects of how we remember the Civil War. Race, religion, culture, region, and other factors affect how we look at the history. Not everyone is historian or has the interest to discover the “real” history. The major source of where our knowledge about the history comes from text books, which might not provide enough details about the certain events. Therefore, I think everyone should read this book and will eventually take something out of it. Blight gives several examples that memory of history can be made up by somebody else. For instance, a memory that was once promoted by the Southern Historical Society claimed that slavery did not exist in the South and the African Americans were just faithful servants to their white masters. We all know that this is untrue because we have all the evidences that can prove it. 

The war between Americans and Native Americans was another piece of memorythat is remembered in different ways. The peace was broken when British came and took over Native Americans’ homeland. This was not the end of the exclusion. When the U.S was formed, Americans started to expand their territory to the west, which many of Native Americans had been killed because of the expansion. On the face of it, Americans were saying to civilize those savages. But in fact, they were taking their lands and lives away. Eventually, they were forced to move to the Indiana Territory. The memory for Native Americans are painful because they were driven out of their mother land, and many of their people were killed because of the enforcement. On the other hand for Americans, it might not seem as bad as it is in Native Americans’ eyes. Most people think they have a better life under the U.S. Government’s control and they are well protected. As what it says in the review, “the Civil War is not over.” It might seem it is over, but the gap between people is getting bigger. Discrimination, prejudice, injustice, and stereotyping are signs of this continuous war. I think many of the memories are politically motivated because the government will always try to adjust their figure positively, which many of the improper facts can be potentially hidden. 



Memory is More Influential than Reality

Here is an over-used quote: “History is written by the winners.” An impossible mission for the historians would be to make a politically unbiased, empirically true, and objective record on a specific event. Given the right to write about a topic without restrictions imposed by the government, which is a privilege that’s not given in many nations, historians still experience many hardships in recording a historical incident by researching on possibly distorted data and opinions. Therefore, a book on the “reality” of a historical incident, such as the civil war, could possibly just become another voice in a great debate, whose conclusion may be impossible to reach.

This is why David Blight’s “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” might be very interesting and practical. Although Blight may avoid the challenge of searching accurate data and interpreting biased opinions, he can spend time and effort on the reactions and influences of the people with different perspectives on the war. If that’s what Blight did in his book, this book would be very beneficial to the people interested in politics.  Rather than scrutinizing the actual events, politicians may be more interested in how the events influenced the development of our system. Eric Foner has already explained why the historical memory is important: historical memory great affect the politicians when they carry out major reforms, such as racial movements and feminine movements. The book review mentioned Wilson’s action as an example of the actions taken by politicians with different perspectives. Another example of shared experiences that is remembered in different ways would be the Iraq War, in which some people is remembering it as America’s invasion of a nation for the oil, while others remember it as proper actions needed for national security.

In a nation of democracy, many memories may be political driven, and some memories are shaped by the speeches delivered by politicians. A book on the historical memories would reflect the attitudes of our citizens than a book that recorded the reality that occurred.


Can History be Trusted?

History was written by people in power for all times, to see from a macroscopic perspective that things recorded in history are not necessarily to be the truth. Everything used to be written in paper and stored physically in library or some other places. There is no doubt that our history is selective. However for the last decades, due to the new technology, recording history seems to be easier than ever. All of news and posts can be archived electronically without limitations. This will give historians a way to archive a wider selection of current events and make a better vivid history. Billions of tweets will be archived at the Library of Congress, people’s random thoughts are now even in the history! For the most important part, if everything is archived through the internet, regulations can’t fully control what will be appear in the history. So now historians have all sources to create history which can be trusted!

Might not be too far form now, not only our tweets but everything we’ve done thought the internet will be archived. It is hard to imagine that our Facebook status, emails, and all our private information will someday be a part of history.  Historians can be overwhelmed by the humongous amount of information. And it rises another issue to historians, how to use these evidence? Are these all true?


Privacy….What Privacy?!

Uncle Sam must be out of his mind! He reads my emails, listens to my phone conversations and now he wants to record my Twitter post????

The government regulates almost every aspect of our lives in one way or another. Isn’t that enough? Twitter is a place where people vent, share useless information about everything and nothing, and what they are doing at the moment. Twitter for the most part is public and almost anyone can view a person’s tweet unless its private, which don’t happen often. Just cause one is willing to share a tweet like ” I am watching Zack and Cody !”  with the twitter world that does not mean they want a historian from the year 3000 reading it ! What happens on Twitter in 2011 stay on Twitter in 2011!

Technology keeps on developing and changing. This (forever being renewed) technology is providing evidence for future historians about our way of life during this present time in ways that we couldn’t even begin to imagine ten years ago. Its cool for current historians to find unique meaningful messages on walls of caves or tombs and other artifacts from centuries ago. Too bad for future historians it will be less cool because instead they will find an archive full of twitter messages stating what a person had for breakfast and “failed tomato sandwiches”. Thats not exactly the way I want the future to learn about the present.


Mind Your Business Uncle Sam !



At this fast pace of twenty first century, with the technology boom and the ubiquity of the internet, unprecedented paths have and are being trodden to sweep modern society by its feet.  Technology have changed the world  in almost every category in the past decades, from the way we  communicate to the way we commute. Nothing is bared, not even the way history is made and recorded!

Now a days one doesn’t have to raise a flag in revolution to make history, but just post a tweet on it and you might have millions on your side to join your cause! Also with the news of Library Congress’s decision to record every tweet made, it will provide historians another outlet to data mine for significant events to record it in their books  for our posterity. One might also be concerned about the privacy issue that the social media sites like Twitter might have, but it reminds me of a saying “If you want to keep a secret, you have to keep it from yourself”, I think its something we’ll just have to adjust to and be mindful of what we do online.


We ARE The History!

Remember when you were a kid? You read all these exciting history stories and started wondering what it is like to have your name written in the history book. “I must be famous or do some big things” you told yourself. Not anymore! To be part of the history, all you need to do is to tweet.  It can be about anything: being late for work, getting a new TV, real-time road condition updates, or comments on political issues. The Library of Congress announced that they started a plan to archive all the public tweets, which counts in hundreds of millions a day. Your comments on a latest movie could live in the cyber world forever next door to Mr. Obama’s greeting to the American people.  Everyone is part of the history now, even though for most of us, our share is quite small.

In a democratic society, where the leaders are fairly elected by the people, what the ordinary people think is more important than some celebrities. Part of the reason why the history book is full of big names is that the historians don’t have the means to dig in collectively every little thing that ordinary people said, did in the past. Now they do. If I dare to let me imagination fly, I can see future historians figuring out the source of certain social problems based on all the tweets. They might conclude that the beginning of archiving the tweets is a shining start of new era. 

Don’t be too optimistic though. Privacy will always be a problem. Some people would welcome a way to opt out the chance of being part of the history.  Some others don’t even bother to tweet. Without further popularization, tweeter will be limited on its ability to draw the big picture.  Let’s just hope everybody like to tweet.


what if historical events had facebook statuses


Being A Part of History?

Many technological advances have been made over many decades in which it have had impacted many people in both positive and negative ways. People over the years have been so engrossed with new technology that they’ve become so dependent on it. Many people no longer write letters or postcards because email took its place. Online social networking such as Facebook, Aim, Msn,Twitter etc are very popular, nowadays many people no longer mingle around in public areas to meet new people because doing it online is faster and convenient.

Future historians may look back into our emails, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or any sort of technological database to gather any sort of information about our culture based on how we lived and thrived in society. Based on the article “Archiving Tweets”, the Congress is planning to keep track of peoples’ tweet regardless of whether the tweets are important or useless. This may also cause additional problems for those who have privacy concerns because not everyone is interested in advertising about themselves nor interested in reading about other peoples’ business. However this may help contribute to future historians’ research as evidence for our time period since everyone can leave a bit of history behind. I mean who doesn’t want to be a part of history?

Based on “WikiLeaks and the Historical Community” I find it very fascinating that Wikileaks contains such important guarded national data . Wikileaks would definitely be a great source of information for future historians because they would be able to learn, reveal and rediscover our history and continue building it.


Tweet into history

In the past couple of decades, the standar

ds of privacy has been on much of a decline for the most part. Few people in the 1980’s had cell phones, now people are “tweeting” and “facebooking” about their where-abouts, recent vacations, and even feelings. People are not realizing that everything published digitally is (or can be) easily archived. Besides for the fact that complete strangers are able to observe your every post, posting pictures and thoughts can always come back to be held against you in the future.

Wikileaks also for example. Although I am not entirely familiar with the site, thanks to recent new head linings, I am not surprised this website was shut down for posting confidential information. Everything can be traced back to its author and nothing can be hidden on the internet. As safe as we may think we are, we are not. We must think before posting anything as nothing goes unnoticed…