Brian Kelly

Unfinished Business

Issue section: 

Brian Kelly looks at three new novels set in the period between the American Revolution and the end of the civil war that put slavery and racism centre stage.

Not so very long ago America's rulers comforted themselves with the notion that the history of the US represented a shining exception, one unmarked by brutality and oppression. They could sustain this illusion only with the help of academic historians who ignored evidence about the centrality of racism, class inequality or imperialist greed in America's past.

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