By Eric Foner
An abridged model of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, the definitive learn of the aftermath of the Civil battle, winner of the Bancroft Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize, Los Angeles Times e-book Award, Francis Parkman Prize, and Lionel Trilling Prize.
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Additional resources for A Short History of Reconstruction
In this analysis, a local musical subculture with international continuities appears to have been subsumed into national culture and identity. This has not been as a result of any authoritarian regime or overt policy of cultural homogenization, but rather has been a much more subtle process arrived at from a number of planes, at national, local and international levels. The ‘appropriation’ is not one-sided, however, since the national identity itself has been modified by the integration of an international musical style.
First of all there is an almost complete integration of the musical and the visual elements; if anything, the visual is subsumed by the musical. Secondly, music that is derived from ‘authentic’, Gaelic, traditional and non-commercial sources now appears to be appropriated by the interests of modernity, prosperity and plurality. The sense of plurality is communicated by the skilful layering of voices and textures, and also, perhaps, by a gradual build-up to a grand unison finale.
Once secured, it does not obliterate difference. (1996: 2–3) We can say, then, that although national identity is often imagined as ‘fixed’, in reality it comprises multiple identifications that arise from a plurality of social contexts and subject positions. Accordingly, the term ‘national identity and music’ can be understood as a general process by which individuals and groups may come to perceive, cognize and articulate associations between, on the one hand, specifically musical phenomena and, on the other hand, wider socio-cultural formations associated with national culture and/or the nation state.
A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner