In Good Company

Blight, Hennessy, LevinI love this photograph, which was taken this past weekend in Gettysburg during our panel discussion on the teaching of Civil War memory in the classroom.  It was a real privilege for me to be seated in between the two historians (David Blight and John Hennessy), who have had the biggest impact on my understanding of historical memory and public history.  Their passion for history is highly infectious.  Both have encouraged me at different times and have helped to open new doors. I am certainly grateful and proud to call both friends.

The conference in Gettysburg was all about providing academic and public historians an opportunity to talk with one another about a broad range of issues.  The relationship that David and John have established over the years exemplifies this commitment to work together for the benefit of the public. The result has been a number of groundbreaking programs.  The most memorable for me was a 2007 tour of Fredericksburg, Virginia with John and David that traced the path of John Washington from slavery to freedom.  It was one of the most moving experiences that I can recall at a historic site.

You can’t help but feel rejuvenated after spending a few days in such good company.

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Pre-order your copy today.

4 comments… add one
  • Milliken's Bend Mar 19, 2013 @ 15:35

    Following John Washington sounds so very interesting and a very innovative way to conduct a tour and provide interpretation. I hope other sites are doing or considering such an approach.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 19, 2013 @ 15:42

      Hi Linda,

      Best of luck with your book, which I am very much looking forward to reading.

  • Kathy Miller Mar 20, 2013 @ 1:53

    Still remember John Hennessey’s ‘moments in time’ during the bus/walking tour of the Second Battle of Manassas. I still think back to them… He is a phenomenal teacher.

  • Pat Young Mar 20, 2013 @ 15:12

    John Hennessey is amazing. Blight is revelatory. Cool pic.

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