Thanks to all of you who participated in last night’s book club meeting. I enjoyed the opportunity to put a face to our interactions on this site thus far and listening to your thoughts about the book and other topics.
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Our next meeting will be May 21 at 7PM EST. Last night I suggested two books about Reconstruction, but have landed on Erin Thompson’s book, Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments.
It just came out in paperback and I consider it one of the better books about the history and ongoing debate about monuments in this country. You are definitely going to enjoy it.
Oooo! That change was unexpected. I look forward to seeing everyone again in May. I've marked my calendar. The book is in my Amazon cart. I will *really* try to read it before the meeting. LOL!
Great! I'm listening to different chapters of the Smith book again now. And I apologize for going over the top with my response to the question of how we can influence others in this (and other) subjects—someone in my household who could hear my end of things remarked that I sounded somewhat "testy" at times. Also, during the discussion last night, I realized why the last song from "Hamilton" is my favorite. Our understanding of history is always dependent on "who tells the story." If the particular telling of the story is the only version we've heard, the option is either to dig in or seek out versions told from another's point of view that are likely different, even if in nuance.
Not sure how I feel about monuments in general. This new book sounds wonderful. See you all in May.
Kevin: thanks for a hood conversation last night.
This morning I’m listening to the chapter on Galveston. It made me think more about our short discussion of Smith’s account of Whitney. I’m going to keep pondering through the other chapters. My new idea that we didn’t discuss that much is the ways the title plays out--how ‘the word’ about slavery is passed at historic sites and through ceremonies and through formal scholarship and k-12 education. It’s rich. Smith is a great writer of nuance.
I look forward to the May discussion and other books.