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The Mind Guard System: Mine Wars and the Politics of Memory in West Virginia

The Mind Guard System: Mine Wars and the Politics of Memory in West Virginia The Mind Guard System: Mine Wars and the Politics of Memory in West Virginia Chuck Keeney istory, as it is interpreted in its varied forms of public memory, can be H presented as a carefully crafted self-portrait of a society. Some portraits are intended to broaden understanding, while others are intended to shape it. In public memory, the truth about our past is either illuminated or ignored, exaggerated or politically crafted, deemed signic fi ant or irrelevant. Historian Niall Ferguson goes as far as to state that “at its core, a civilization is the texts that are taught in its schools, learned by its students, and recollected in times of tribulation.” Indeed, the texts that are taught in schools and the manner in which they are presented can go a long way toward shaping regional and national identities. Beyond the world of textbooks, how we me- morialize the past—the places and relics we deem worthy of preservation or restoration—are also ree fl ctions of political conflict, cultural identity, and, if we are fortunate, valuable lessons learned. Concerning history in public memory, David W. Blight observes, “As events in world politics, curriculum debates, national and international commemorations, and anniversaries have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies West Virginia University Press

The Mind Guard System: Mine Wars and the Politics of Memory in West Virginia

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
West Virginia University Press
ISSN
1940-5057

Abstract

The Mind Guard System: Mine Wars and the Politics of Memory in West Virginia Chuck Keeney istory, as it is interpreted in its varied forms of public memory, can be H presented as a carefully crafted self-portrait of a society. Some portraits are intended to broaden understanding, while others are intended to shape it. In public memory, the truth about our past is either illuminated or ignored, exaggerated or politically crafted, deemed signic fi ant or irrelevant. Historian Niall Ferguson goes as far as to state that “at its core, a civilization is the texts that are taught in its schools, learned by its students, and recollected in times of tribulation.” Indeed, the texts that are taught in schools and the manner in which they are presented can go a long way toward shaping regional and national identities. Beyond the world of textbooks, how we me- morialize the past—the places and relics we deem worthy of preservation or restoration—are also ree fl ctions of political conflict, cultural identity, and, if we are fortunate, valuable lessons learned. Concerning history in public memory, David W. Blight observes, “As events in world politics, curriculum debates, national and international commemorations, and anniversaries have

Journal

West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2018

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