William Loren Katz Reviews on Books and Films

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

April 10, 2015

Author: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Publisher: Beacon Press, 2014 It is not easy to condense the United States narrative from its Indigenous people to the US Gulf Wars in less than 300 pages. It is even harder when the author is determined to be thorough, informative, and engaging. And it is harder still if the author’s compelling story […]

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Teaching Outside the Textbook: From ‘The Abolitionists’ to a Two-Term Black President

February 3, 2013

This week PBS’s The American Experience concluded “The Abolitionists,” a searing three-part documentary on a fiercely committed band of white and African American freedom fighters. It took a fresh look at the anti-slavery movement, its most dramatic moments, its key figures and its amazing impact considering it was a movement which was run by hated […]

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Lincoln, The Movie

December 8, 2012

Director: Steven Spielberg Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes Rated: PG-13 (Drama) Released: 2012 Like just about everyone who has seen it, I was enthralled by “Lincoln,” the Hollywood film directed with authority and creative license by Stephen Spielberg, smoothly scripted by Tony Kushner and crowned by a veritable feast of brilliant acting. But in my […]

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New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth

October 5, 2008

Author: Alan J. Singer Publisher: SUNY Press (2008) As some southern legislatures, prodded by African American representatives, expressed regret over their states’ role in slave trading and exploiting slave labor, a kind of “truth and reconciliation” movement has stirred educators. So far the focus has been on the southern states where African people were brutally […]

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The Legacy of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s First Black Indian President

January 21, 2006

Author: Theodore G. Vincent Publisher: University of Florida Press, 2001 Vicente Guerrero has been a towering figure in the Americas, masterfully commanding Mexico’s liberation army during much of its independence movement in the early 19th century, and in 1829 assuming his country’s presidency where he again fought off foreign invaders. Born poor to a Black […]

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Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson

March 1, 2001

Author: Professor Paul Finkelman Publisher: M.E. Sharpe Inc., 2001 In the 1830s William Lloyd Garrison, a fiery anti-slavery polemicist, infuriated citizens of Boston by publicly threatening to burn a copy of the US Constitution which he excoriated as a “covenant with death” and “an agreement with Hell.” People were shocked and even among his band […]

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