Monday, September 1, 2008

last week's reads

this is the first year of my phd coursework and the reading load has increased to about 3 books a week so i figured to help me make sure i do the reading i would keep you all updated on my assignments so...i'll give you all a brief summary of what the texts and what i've gotten from them

american holocaust: the conquest of the new world by david e. stannard:
this book is about the destruction of indigenous people at the hands of european crusaders (thats my word).  the book paints a picture of life for the indigenous people in the americas before columbus and discussed how europeans brought violence, disease and destruction to the societies there.  stannard's purpose is to establish the roots of euro-american racism and genocidal behavior.  with this text i focus specifically on the use of christian rhetoric to justify the rape, pillage and murder of innocent people.  

been in the stome so long: the aftermath of slavery by leon f. litwack
admittedly i have not finished this book yet (600 pages in a week has been a bit of a challenge) but so far it is a detailed account of the relationships between black and whites and among blacks during the civil war and in the reconstruction period afterwards.  it covers the range of attitudes surrounding the purpose of the civil war and the changes that occurred after its completion; focusing on the south.  with this text i focus specifically focus on is what exactly freedom meant to the newly freed slaves in the south considering there were no conditions to integrate them equally into society.  

i'll most likely be writing some reaction papers, journal articles or just reflections on these texts which i will make available as they are finished


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