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public history



  • A Monument to Our Shared Purpose

    by Allen C. Guelzo and James Hankins

    The Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington embodies not white supremacy, but African-American agency and cooperative struggle.



  • Europe in 1989, America in 2020, and the Death of the Lost Cause

    by David W. Blight

    We should not celebrate too much as monuments topple and old slave-auction blocks are removed. History did not end when the Soviet Union dissolved, and it will not end now, even if a vibrant movement sweeps a new age of civil rights into America. Most of all, we must remember what the Lost Cause is and was before we try to call it past.



  • Calhoun-Fall

    by Peter H. Wood

    "When word spread that the Charleston City Council had voted unanimously to remove the domineering figure from his skyscraping column, I thought of a comment Walt Whitman recorded at the end of the Civil War. After Confederate forces had surrendered at Appomattox Court House, the poet overheard a Union soldier observe that the true monuments to Calhoun were the wasted farms and gaunt chimneys scattered over the South."



  • Catholics, Alt Right Clash With Protesters over Louis IX Statue

    One group demanded that its anchoring sculpture, a statue of King Louis IX, come down as a token of reconciliation against the generations of hate they feel the statue represents. A collective of other groups, including individuals who said they belonged to The Catholic Church and white supremacists, stood in defense of the statue of the city’s namesake.



  • The Rap Against Christopher Columbus Statues Overlooks Their Origins

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    The great achievement of the 20th-century United States was the integration of formerly excluded ethnics -- Italians, Irish, Jews, and others -- into full citizenship and equality. And the great tragedy was our failure to do the same for nonwhites, especially African Americans and Native Americans.