Even if you just have just a few minutes check out this wonderful dramatic reading focused on the Civil War in Georgia performed by students a The Lovett School in Atlanta. This is one of the best student productions that I’ve seen in quite some time and serves as a useful model to connect an entire school community to its past. Well done.
[Uploaded to Vimeo on September 5, 2014]
While in Gettysburg I picked up Stephen Davis’s most recent book, What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta (Mercer University Press, 2012). The book has received mixed reviews, but I decided to give it a chance. While the book thus far lacks an analytical edge those of you looking for excruciatingly detailed descriptions of pre-war and wartime Atlanta will be rewarded. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the many anecdotes included in the book, it’s that I also expect a historian to provide a close analysis of these sources. Continue reading “What the Yankees Did To Who?”
There is a danger when we remember or imagine the past or treat historical actors as static or stuck in a particular moment as opposed to dynamic and forward looking. We make an implicit assumption that since we are preoccupied with a particular historical moment that the individuals were as well. The recent history and memory of 9-11 ought to be sufficient to reveal the mistake that is involved in this imaginative act. Roughly ten years later and a visit to the city suggests that New Yorkers have moved on with their lives. Think of the language we used in the immediate aftermath that nothing would ever be the same. Perhaps we build monuments and memorials because deep down we acknowledge the fickleness of memory. Continue reading “Remembering that Historical Actors Looked Forward”