From John Hennessy:
Kevin Levin has an interesting post today over at Civil War Memory, asking whether or not, really, the American public is divided in its perceptions of the American Civil War. His is a thoughtful, provocative forum, well worth reading.
On a separate note, few things have reshaped our understanding of the Civil War and its place in American culture more than the emergence of “memory studies” over the last 25 years. In the business of public history, nothing is more important than understanding how the public’s perceptions of history have evolved and come to be what they are. Public memory as a lens through which to understand the perceptions of our forebears is very useful thing.
But, it seems to me that viewing memory retrospectively and viewing it in the present are two different things. Have we gotten ourselves into a place where we accord misplaced dignity to bad history practiced in the present by referring to it as “memory?”