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Are We One Country or Two? A Conversation about Reconciliation with David Blight
For years, commentators have talked about the culture wars, but increasingly, scholars and others are beginning to refer to a “truth divide,” suggesting that beliefs held by Americans are now so different that we are essentially living in two separate realities.

The disagreement about what constitutes American values and goals has now gotten so deep, one commentator suggested that it wasn’t so much about polarization related to political or cultural issues anymore, but rather democracy itself that we seemed to disagree about.

Reflecting on the attacks on the Capitol, the presidential inauguration, and other recent events, this event will feature David Blight, one of the country’s leading Civil War historians, in conversation with the Center’s directors, John Carlson and Tracy Fessenden.Blight will draw on his knowledge of another moment in American history when the country was so divided it went to war, to explore what it means to live in and think about a divided nation. Is polarization necessarily bad? Or are there lessons can we learn from history that might help us understand and bridge the divide? Is it still possible for events of civic celebration, public history, and collective memory—such as a presidential inauguration—to advance a vision of national unity, and for whom? Does history offer us any guidelines for how to heal a nation? In short, is reconciliation possible?

Feb 3, 2021 03:00 PM in Arizona

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