is reading The Broken Heart of America by Walter Johnson for June Book Club.
Walter Johnson's book, The Broken Heart of America: Saint Louis and the Violent History of the United States broke my heart. I could not believe what I was reading. I could barely read it. Although the book is dense and contains some truth, it is full of falsehoods, half truths and farfetched conflations. Johnson's rage can be found on every page.
In the Prologue: Mapping the Loss, Johnson ties the Lewis and Clark expedition to Michael Brown's death, the BLM movement and other events in St. Louis's history to racial capitalism, white supremacy, imperialism and ethnic cleansing.
On June 26, 1834 an enslaved woman, Hannah was beaten to death by William Harney, second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, who was later acquitted of her murder in March 1835. Regarding this event, Johnson writes, "Perhaps it goes too far to see in this case an uncanny premonition of the unpunished murder of Michael Brown almost two centuries later."
Here is an educated ivory-towered white male historian, who wants us to believe there is a correlation between these events. He must have been binge-watching "Outlanders" when he wrote that! He has taken facts out of context to advance his agenda. He loses any credibility with statements like the one above. How can any reader believe a word he writes?
Washington University St. Louis October 6, 2020
LaClede Town: The Rise and Fall of a “Bohemian Utopia”
By Julie Flory and Sean Gunste
Read this for an integrated development built in the Mill Creek Valley that was initially a big success. A bohemian center of individual houses managed by Jerry Berger
“Viewed from St. Louis, the history of capitalism in the United States seems to have as much to do with eviction and extraction as with exploitation and production. History in St. Louis unfolded at the juncture of racism and real estate, of the violent management of the population and the speculative valuation of property. The first to be forced out were Native Americans, who were pushed west and killed off by settlers and the US military. But in St. Louis the practices of removal and containment that developed out of the history of empire in the West were generalized into mechanisms for the dispossession and management of Black people within the city limits. And because removal is fundamentally about controlling the future, about determining what sorts of people will be allowed to live in what sorts of places, it is always concerned with the control of gender, sexuality, and reproduction; often women and children are singled out for particular sanction and targeted violence.”
― Walter Johnson, The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States
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