Get local news delivered straight to your phone

FRIDAY

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

The controversy surrounding the June 28 publication of Alice Randall’s Gone With the Wind satire, The Wind Done Gone, couldn’t have come at a better time for historian David W. Blight. Randall’s novel retells the story of Tara and Twelve Oaks from the slaves’ point of view; the white heroes of Mitchell’s novel are now lazy and stupid (and, in some cases, homosexual). In halting the book’s publication, U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. ruled that Randall’s book would harm the image of the “romantic, but tragic, world” of antebellum Georgia. Read: Fans of Gone With the Wind will have to confront their fantasy that the antebellum south was anything other than unmitigated tragedy. This same avoidance of painful facts is the theme of Blight’s new book, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Blight argues that although the Civil War did reconcile some differences between whites in the Union and the former Confederacy, it did not achieve a reconciliation between whites and ex-slaves and their descendants. In doing so, he draws extensively on black and white voices—Northern and Southern—to chronicle the struggle for race reconciliation during the first 50 years following the Civil War. “The sectional reunion after so horrible a civil war was a political triumph by the late nineteenth century,” he writes, “but it could not have been achieved without the resubjugation of many of those people whom the war had freed from centuries of bondage.” Blight will read and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. Friday, June 15, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Janet Hopf)