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Denmark Vesey's Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy

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One of Janet Maslin’s Favorite Books of 2018, The New York Times

One of John Warner’s Favorite Books of 2018, Chicago Tribune

Named one of the “Best Civil War Books of 2018” by the Civil War Monitor

“A fascinating and important new historical study.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“A stunning contribution to the historiography of Civil War memory studies.”
Civil War Times

The stunning, groundbreaking account of "the ways in which our nation has tried to come to grips with its original sin" (Providence Journal)

Hailed by the New York Times as a "fascinating and important new historical study that examines . . . the place where the ways slavery is remembered mattered most," Denmark Vesey's Garden "maps competing memories of slavery from abolition to the very recent struggle to rename or remove Confederate symbols across the country" (The New Republic). This timely book reveals the deep roots of present-day controversies and traces them to the capital of slavery in the United States: Charleston, South Carolina, where almost half of the slaves brought to the United States stepped onto our shores, where the first shot at Fort Sumter began the Civil War, and where Dylann Roof murdered nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, which was co-founded by Denmark Vesey, a black revolutionary who plotted a massive slave insurrection in 1822.

As they examine public rituals, controversial monuments, and competing musical traditions, "Kytle and Roberts's combination of encyclopedic knowledge of Charleston's history and empathy with its inhabitants' past and present struggles make them ideal guides to this troubled history" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). A work the Civil War Times called "a stunning contribution, " Denmark Vesey's Garden exposes a hidden dimension of America's deep racial divide, joining the small bookshelf of major, paradigm-shifting interpretations of slavery's enduring legacy in the United States.

ISBN-13: 9781620975466

Media Type: Paperback(Reprint)

Publisher: New Press The

Publication Date: 04-02-2019

Pages: 464

Product Dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Ethan J. Kytle is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno and the author of Romantic Reformers and the Antislavery Struggle in the Civil War Era. Kytle lives in Fresno, California. Blain Roberts is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno and the author of Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women. She lives in Fresno, California.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Prelude: Slavery's Capital 12

Part I Emancipation and Reconstruction

1 The Year of Jubilee 39

2 Reconstructing Charleston in the Shadow of Slavery 62

Part II Jim Crow Rising

3 Setting Jim Crow in Stone 93

4 Cradle of the Lost Cause 114

Part III Jim Crow Era

5 Black Memory in the Ivory City 141

6 America's Most Historic City 167

7 The Sounds of Slavery 196

8 We Don't Go in for Slave Horrors 225

Part IV Civil Rights Era and Beyond

9 We Shall Overcome 259

10 Segregating the Past 292

Conclusion: Denmark Vesey's Garden 321

Afterword: The Saving Grace of the Emanuel Nine? 337

Acknowledgments 350

List of Abbreviations 353

Notes 360

Image Credits 430

Index 432