Marked, unmarked, remembered

Andrew Lichtenstein, 1965-

Book - 2017

"From Wounded Knee to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and from the Upper Big Branch mine disaster to the Trail of Tears, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered presents photographs of significant sites from US history, posing unsettling questions about the contested memory of traumatic episodes from the nation's past. Focusing especially on landscapes related to African American, Native American, and labor history, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered reveals new vistas of officially commemorated sites, sites... that are neglected or obscured, and sites that serve as a gathering place for active rituals of organized memory. These powerful photographs by award-winning photojournalist Andrew Lichtenstein are interspersed with short essays by some of the leading historians of the United States. The book is introduced with substantive meditations on meaning and landscape by Alex Lichtenstein, editor of the American Historical Review, and Edward T. Linenthal, former editor of the Journal of American History. Individually, these images convey American history in new and sometimes startling ways. Taken as a whole, the volume amounts to a starkly visual reckoning with the challenges of commemorating a violent and conflictual history of subjugation and resistance that we forget at our peril."--Provided by publisher.

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Subjects
Published
Morgantown : West Virginia University Press 2017.
Language
English
Physical Description
ix, 181 pages : illustrations ; 22 x 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781943665891
1943665893
Main Author
Andrew Lichtenstein, 1965- (photographer)
Other Authors
Alexander C. Lichtenstein (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Among photography's many uses is that of helping us to remember and understand historical events. But what if people don't agree as to the significance of those events, or even if they happened at all? The past isn't fixed, as this project by photographer, journalist, and teacher Andrew Lichtenstein shows. He traveled throughout the United States, photographing "sites of violent trauma" (the location of Emmett Till's murder; the Sand Creek Massacre site, etc.) of particular significance for Native American, African American, and labor history. He strove to understand events and places that Americans commit to public memory, as well as those banished to forgetfulness. It's easy to feel disoriented, spatially and historically, while viewing these photographs, which is exactly the intention, pointing readers to the perplexing quality of what the book's introduction refers to as the "topography of the past." A slate of distinguished historians supplement the images with insightful essays. VERDICT A thought-provoking addition to the literature on sites of public memory, complementing titles such as Kenneth Foote's Shadowed Ground: America's Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

This timely and provocative book by historian Alex Lichtenstein (Twice the Work of Free Labor) and his brother, Andrew, a photojournalist, uses photos and essays to document American landscapes that are marred by acts of violence and explores the relationship between public memory and public forgetting. A short descriptive paragraph summarizing the historical significance of each site accompanies an evocative black-and-white photograph. Among the most moving is the image of two women standing in the Atlantic Ocean at Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y., offering a ceremonial prayer to their African ancestors who died on the slave ships crossing the Atlantic. Other haunting images include those of the cotton fields near where Emmett Till was murdered in 1955 and the picturesque sea scape of Deer Island, Mass., the still-unmarked site of the internment and massacre by white colonists of hundreds of Native Americans. Every section includes essays by noted historians of civil rights, colonialism, and labor. A remarkable and essential work of visual documentary history of interest to the scholarly and general reader alike. 57 b&w images. (Oct.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From Wounded Knee to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and from the Upper Big Branch mine disaster to the Trail of Tears, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered presents photographs of significant sites from US history, posing unsettling questions about the contested memory of traumatic episodes from the nation's past. Focusing especially on landscapes related to African American, Native American, and labor history, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered reveals new vistas of officially commemorated sites, sites that are neglectedor obscured, and sites that serve as a gathering place for active rituals of organized memory. These powerful photographs by award-winning photojournalist Andrew Lichtenstein are interspersed with short essays by some of the leading historians of the United States. The book is introduced with substantive meditations on meaning and landscape by Alex Lichtenstein, editor of the American Historical Review, and Edward T. Linenthal, former editor of the Journal of American History. Individually, these images convey American history in new and sometimes startling ways. Taken as a whole, the volume amounts to a starkly visual reckoning with the challenges of commemorating a violent and conflictual history of subjugation and resistance that we forget at our peril."--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From Wounded Knee to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and from the Upper Big Branch mine disaster to the Trail of Tears, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered presents photographs of significant sites from US history, posing unsettling questions about the contested memory of traumatic episodes from the nation's past. Focusing especially on landscapes related to African American, Native American, and labor history, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered reveals new vistas of officially commemorated sites, sites that are neglected or obscured, and sites that serve as a gathering place for active rituals of organized memory. These powerful photographs by award-winning photojournalist Andrew Lichtenstein are interspersed with short essays by some of the leading historians of the United States. The book is introduced with substantive meditations on meaning and landscape by Alex Lichtenstein, editor of the American Historical Review, and Edward T. Linenthal, former editor of the Journal of American History. Individually, these images convey American history in new and sometimes startling ways. Taken as a whole, the volume amounts to a starkly visual reckoning with the challenges of commemorating a violent and conflictual history of subjugation and resistance that we forget at our peril.