Three Views of Reconstruction

In this brief video, Anne Sarah Rubin, Matthew Pinsker, and Gregory Downs offer their own approach to understanding the challenges and legacy of Reconstruction. This is perfect for classroom use. What I like about it is that it offers students the opportunity to explore how three very talented historians arrive at different conclusions based on the available evidence.

[Uploaded to YouTube on July 26, 2016]

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5 comments… add one
  • Craig L Jul 27, 2016 @ 1:20

    I saw the latest movie version of Tarzan, The Legend of Tarzan, a few days ago in a movie theatre. This version, directed by David Yates of Harry Potter fame, features Alex Skarsgard, a vampire from the True Blood television series, as Tarzan, but it also introduces a new character, George Washington Williams, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Unlike Tarzan, a wholly fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the son of a major in the Union army, George Washington Williams is an actual historical figure, a son of emancipated slaves, born in Bedford, Pennsylvania in 1849. Williams was a Civil War soldier, enlisting in the Colored Troops at age 14, a participant in the removal of Maximillian from Mexico and a buffalo soldier on the western frontier before developing talents as a lawyer, clergyman, politician, diplomat and historian. Perhaps the best known of his works of historical scholarship is a book he wrote on the history of the U.S.C.T. in the Civil War. He died at age 42 in 1891 on the return voyage from one of perhaps several visits to the Belgian Congo following an audience with King Leopold II. Edgar Rice Burroughs was sixteen years old the year George Washington Williams died. His ambition then was to attend West Point. He published his first Tarzan story in 1912 to liberate himself from a career as a pencil sharpener salesman. The plot of the movie is the visit to the Congo from which Williams never returned and the encounter with Tarzan that visit entailed.

  • Jimmy Dick Jul 26, 2016 @ 13:39

    You’re right. This does look nice and succinct for class use. Their final is tomorrow and I am going to speak a bit on Reconstruction before the final begins. I can use the clip to kick off the discussion.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 26, 2016 @ 13:40

      Glad to hear it.

      • Jimmy Dick Jul 27, 2016 @ 6:18

        It went over well. I thought it was interesting how the Prof. Downs said exactly what I said to start the conversation off with.

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