The ABP Journal
Fall 2007, Vol. 3 No. 1

ISSN 1939-4578

David W. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University. A leading scholar of the history of emancipation, his titles include Frederick Douglass’s Civil War (1989), Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (2002), and A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation (2007). He directs the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale and is a member of the board for African American Programs at Monticello.

[journal table of contents]


somebody blundered
Reprinted by permission of the publisher from RACE AND REUNION: THE CIVIL WAR IN AMERICAN MEMORY by David W. Blight, Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

david w. blight
bierce in uniform

EDITORS NOTE: In 2001, David W. Blight published Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press).  More than five hundred pages in length, the book provides a history of “how Americans remembered their most divisive and tragic experience during the fifty-year period after the Civil War.”  Widely celebrated upon its release, the work won numerous awards, among them the Abraham Lincoln Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize.

In Chapter Seven of the book, “The Literature of Reunion and its Discontents, Blight observes that “[no] one wrote with more disillusion about the war than Ambrose Bierce.  Surveying Bierce’s war writings, both fiction and nonfiction, he argues that the soldier-turned-writer embodied in the bleakest way the character of the American reunion. His very discontent was part of what made the nature of that reunion irrepressible.

arrow For the password to read Blight’s full analysis of Bierce, please write to with Blight Article in the subject line.  
The excerpt will be made available to readers via a .pdf file.  


Copyright © 2007 The Ambrose Bierce Project and Penn State University. All rights reserved.