David W. Blight's book Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the American Civil War, is an intriguing look back into the Civil War era which is very heavily studied but misunderstood according to Blight. Blight focuses on how memory shapes history Blight feels, while the Civil War accomplished it goal of abolishing slavery, it fell short of its ultimate potential to pave the way for equality. Blight attempts to prove that the Civil War does little to bring equality to blacks. This book is a composite of twelve essays which are spilt into three parts. The Preludes describe blacks during the era before the Civil War and their struggle to over come slavery and describes the causes, course and consequences of the war. Problems in Civil War memory describes black history and deals with how during and after the war Americans seemed to forget the true meaning of the war which was race. And the postludes describes some for the leaders of black society and how they are attempting to keep the memory and the real meaning of the Civil War alive and explains the purpose of studying historical memory.
Memory plays a very important in how history is interpreted. As time goes on and an event slips further into the past some of the memory's that are passed on are distorted and can change entirely. Things that happened during the Civil War that may have seemed important are replaced with things that may seem more important to us now.