Empty pedestal that used to support a statue of Roger B. Taney,  majority author of the Dred Scott decision. On Aug 16, the City of Baltimore removed it, following the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

History vs. Memory

What professional historians do – and don't – have to offer communities struggling with the Confederate monuments in their midst.
A Confederate soldier monument in a park in Madison, Florida.

(Still) Worrying About the Civil War

Why I decided to devote my professional life to something I wasn't very interested in.

How About Erecting Monuments to the Heroes of Reconstruction?

Americans should build this pivotal post–Civil War era into the new politics of historical memory.
Statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA.

Some Thoughts on Public Memory

The only logic to honoring Lee is to honor treason and treason in the worst possible cause.
Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia.

Charlottesville: Why Jefferson Matters

Annette Gordon-Reed explores the ways in which the many paradoxes of Jefferson make him a potent figure for racists and anti-racists alike.
A Confederate solider monument in El Dorado, AR.

Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History

They do not simply commemorate American history, as the president declared. They honor just one part of that past.
A Confederate flag is seen during a rally to show support for it.

Growing Up in the Shadow of the Confederacy

Memorials to the Lost Cause have always meant something sinister for the descendants of enslaved people.
A Freeman's Bureau agent stands between armed groups of whites and Freedmen.

There's No National Site Devoted to Reconstruction—Yet

The National Parks Service, which preserves many Civil War sites, is finally looking for a way to mark the struggles that defined its legacy.
A statue of midcentury Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner artistically transformed by Carlos Colombino.

Dismantled But Not Destroyed

One alternative to tearing down Confederate monuments: creatively repurposing them.
Harvard University's Lowell House, named after former Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell (August 28, 2010).

By Retiring a Seal, Harvard Wages War on the Dead — but to What End?

Rather than censuring the legacies of our ancestors, we should work to make our descendants proud.
A depiction of a slave woman with a baby on the Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Pernicious Myth of the ‘Loyal Slave’ Lives on in Confederate Memorials

Statues don’t need to venerate military leaders of the Civil War to promulgate false narratives.
A nineteenth century engraving depicting a battle from the Pequot War.

America's Other Original Sin

Europeans didn’t just displace Native Americans — they enslaved them, on a scale historians are only beginning to fathom.