The Corner


Living, and Not Living, with History

The issue of Confederate monuments is in the air, in a big way. This issue comes and goes. It is an important issue, and a complicated one. I addressed it, and related issues, in a three-part series at the beginning of last year.

“Living with History,” this series was called. The three parts are here, here, and here. The series was an expansion of an essay I had in our print magazine: “‘Rhodes Must Fall’: The rights and wrongs of a movement.”

What do you mean, “Rhodes Must Fall”? That was the slogan, and the name, of a movement, composed primarily of students, to remove statues of Cecil Rhodes, and to remove his name from institutions.

Well, I wrote about that, of course — and about King David, Queen Victoria, John C. Calhoun, Elihu Yale, the Maryland state song, Washington and Lee University, the Lenin statue in Seattle …

This subject is a multifaceted, if not a many-splendored, thing. Give my series a skim, if you’re interested. There are tables of food for thought in it.