The great Southern novelist William Faulkner famously wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And so it was that in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia we seemed to be fighting the Civil War all over again. The battle there, and elsewhere, was over statues and monuments glorifying the heroes of the Confederacy. But as historian Sarah Gardner shows us these monuments, and the fights over them, have less to do with honoring the memory of the dead than with celebrating a society built on racial oppression.

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