What is history? How are events really remembered? These are both questions which are important in understanding what is passed off as history, what is recollected as events important to history, and how they have been recorded. Multiple bias’s reign blogs, textbooks, history resources and also what is communicated through word of mouth. Similarly, Eric Foner’s book exhibits a different perspective of understanding the American Civil War. Race is something which can be understood through the analysis he provides. For anyone who has any background of American history, they are sure to come across the whole discourse of race.
Understanding history is a challenge in itself, because of the multiple ambiguities which may come with any one event. The way it is understood, recalled and narrated further is based on an individual’s background and their personal bias. I have mentioned this before, and the reason for the repetition is solely because it is that important to understand! In most cases oral sources, used as primary sources are the most popular ways of events being recalled and talked about. A very small population of people look into documents, collect research and data to test the validity of a pre-existing opinion or thought. If this is the case, then it becomes even more important to understand what source you are getting your history from. This is because not all sources are legitimate. This book review offers another testable way of coming to know of unique interpretations of one war.
I recall hearing many stories of the 1947 Indian partition from my grandmother and being confused as a child about why and how the British left the country divided. Did they really want to leave newly free and sovereign state in ruins because of cultural and religious differences? Or was it in fact the Indians themselves who forced this separation and violent mass migration upon themselves? Depending on who I approached to understand this event, I was confronted with different views and takes on it.