If I were to have created a wish list of eminent people who might be assigned to review my new book, David W. Blight, dean of Frederick Douglass biographers and historian of the implications of Reconstruction’s collapse, would have been at the top. So I’m extremely excited that his review of Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood appears in today’s print edition of the Washington Post.
Blight, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography, Frederick Douglass, writes Union makes “visions of history into a kind of human drama… with a storyteller’s pace and vividness.” In conclusion:
“The subtext for this book, like so much else these days, is Woodard’s fear that the 19th-century belief in an American ethno-state (meaning white) not only survived into our own time but is reascendant in Trumpism’s assault on “liberal civic nationalism.” As Woodard warns, only fools or the ignorant will think this battle will ever really end, even when President Trump and his own profane myth are banished.”
Also, on Friday I joined Jefferson Public Radio, which serves the abortive State of Jefferson in southern Oregon and northern California, to talk about the book. That interview is here.
And finally, thanks again to Politics & Prose and NPR’s Tom Gjelten for holding an excellent and enjoyable virtual book event this afternoon. That interview-and-audience questions session is now up via YouTube.