David Blight on "Race and Reunion"

May 8, 2011

For many people, commemorating the Civil War is a time to reflect on the end of slavery, and the expansion of American freedom.   But starting right after the war, many Americans chose not to remember the Civil War in these terms.  They played down some of the very issues over which they had gone to war, in order to promote national harmony and sectional reconciliation between North and South.  Historian David Blight teaches history at Yale University, and is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.  Blight tells Jim Fleming Americans in both sides played a role in whitewashing the history of the Civil War, in favor of a more unified nation.


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