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Alan Rice’s book on slavery memorials

2012 August 21


scottish american

Figure at the base of the memorial to Scottish American Soldiers, Old Calton burial ground, Edinburgh

Alongside others in a roundtable discussion, I reviewed enthusiastically Alan Rice’s excellent book Creating Memorials, Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic in Journal of American Studies 46 (1) (2012).

It has just been issued in paperback, as the youtube film of the launch at Liverpool Maritime Museum shows.  An extract from his  book is included in the Public History Reader.

The images are of an interesting memorial by George Bissell in Old Calton burial ground, Edinburgh.  Ostensibly it is in memory of 5 named Scottish-American soldiers who had fought in the American Civil War.  However, on top is a statue of Abraham Lincoln and at the bottom a bronze life-sized figure of a slave promoting a more specific anti-slavery message.  Unveiled in 1893 it bore no traces during my recent visit of being marked today by  forms of memorialisation, such as those I describe at the new Bomber Command memorial.

5 soldiers names

Names of Scottish soldiers who fought in the American Civil War, Old Calton burial ground, Edinburgh

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