Subaltern perspectives In this short essay-driven book, Steven Hahn attempts to debunk several myths about how the Civil War and African-American history is written about and remembered by the collective consciousness of the American public.The books is divided into three sections. First, Hahn attempts to locate the institution of slavery within the national development of the United States but also in the broader context of European colonization in the western hemisphere. This contextualization helps to nuance our understanding of how slavery developed and adapted given the changing circumstances especially in comparison with the only slave revolution ever recorded in history in Saint Dominique.The second section develops from the first, and boils down to Hahn's argument that the Civil War should be thought of as a slave rebellion with revolutionary undertones. Hahn argues that traditional historiography has largely suppressed the "agency" of slaves in order to mythologize the narrative to one of the Union North emancipating the slaves. Notwithstanding this obvious paternalism of whites in the North, African-Americans themselves tended to accept this version of history because they preferred to be portrayed as patriotic Americans who sought to live the ideals of American liberty -- rather than a vengeful pack of insurrectionists seeking to overthrow the system.Finally, Hahn turns his attention to Garvyism -- the post-WWI political mass movement which capitalized on ideas of self-determination, anti-colonialism, and pan-Africanism. While much of Garvyism has focused on Marcus Garvey the man, Hahn instead chooses to focus on the followers of the movement, why they joined, what their motivations were, and how it came to influence much later movements like Black Power and the Panthers of the 70s. Again, Hahn attempts to show why much of the African-American experience has tended to emphasize the ideas and influence of W.E.B. Dubois and Martin Luther King, rather than Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X.Ultimately, this short book is more about the writing of history and the politics of history more than the actual history itself. Still, Hahn forces us to challenge our own preconceptions of the history we are taught and the supposed facts. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a student of history.