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The University of Virginia Press calls Charlottesville home, and like all of our city's residents we have been swept up in the events of the past week—some tragic, others inspiring, all of it historically significant. The UVA Press has a long tradition of publishing vital scholarship in the fields of Southern history and African-American studies. Following are some titles that we hope will illuminate the discussion coming out of the events here in Charlottesville.
A landmark in Civil War studies, Charles Dew's Apostles of Disunion, now available in a fifteenth-anniversary edition, illustrates how seccession commissions placed white supremacy at the center of their message, and how it broke the union apart. The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family History, and the Slave Trade is Dew's powerful memoir of growing up white in the Jim Crow South. Ed Peeples has also written candidly of escaping his own racist roots in Scalawag: A White Southerner's Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism.
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy is Annette Gordon-Reed’s pioneering study of Jefferson’s relationship with slave Hemings, including explosive evidence of his paternity of her children, which forever changed the Jefferson discussion. For more on Jefferson and race, there is Lucia Stanton's "Those Who Labor for My Happiness": Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Clarence Walker's Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Andrew Burstein's Democracy's Muse: How Thomas Jefferson Became an FDR Liberal, a Reagan Republican, and a Tea Party Fanatic, All While Being Dead explores how Jefferson has been appropriated by both the left and the right to push wildly contrasting agendas for more than a century.
The Key to the Door: Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia, edited by Maurice Apprey and Shelli Poe, relates many fascinating accounts of UVA's first black students. Further reading on education and African Americans: Elusive Equality: Desegregation and Resegregation in Norfolk's Public Schools by Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and Charles H. Ford, Keep On Keeping On: The NAACP and the Implementation of Brown vs. Board of Education in Virginia by Brian J. Daugherity, and Schooling Jim Crow: The Fight for Atlanta's Booker T. Washington High School and the Roots of Black Protest Politics by Jay Winston Driskell Jr.
Tom Chaffin's Giant's Causeway: Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary is the definitive look at a crucial step in the great abolitionist's development. Abraham Lincoln's political journey towards his landmark Emancipation Proclamation is chronicled in Paul Escott's Lincoln's Dilemma: Blair, Sumner, and the Republican Struggle over Racism and Equality in the Civil War Era. Escott also addressed the significance of race during the Civil War era in "What Shall We Do with the Negro?": Lincoln, White Racism, and the Civil War. Most soldiers in the Confederacy did not actually own slaves; Colin Edward Woodward addresses their attitides toward slavery in Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Commemoration in America: Essays on Monuments, Memorialization, and Memory, edited by David Gobel and Daves Rossell, includes insightful commentary on the issues surrounding Confederate statues in modern communities. Rob Corcoran's Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility shows how Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, has become a national model for productive inter-racial dialogue.
Excellent histories on the struggles and triumphs of black Americans: Freedom Has a Face: Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson's Virginia by Kirt von Daacke, The Uplift Generation: Cooperation across the Color Line in Early Twentieth-Century Virginia by Clayton McClure Brooks, The Risen Phoenix: Black Politics in the Post–Civil War South by Luis-Alejandro Dinnella-Borrego, and the forthcoming Facing Freedom: An African American Community in Virginia from Reconstruction to Jim Crow by Daniel B. Thorp.
Look for other publishers' reading lists via hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculm