Monuments can be the mirrors of a nation, objects of civic and political worship, overlooked decorative elements of urban landscapes, or thorns pushed down cities’ throats. Is there a certain degree of ideological intransigence in the way certain American monuments are discussed, criticized, sometimes vandalised, often removed by public authorities? Or are those same monuments an attempt to erase history, to celebrate some of its aspects as it conceals others? The author tells the stories of selected monuments in conflicted United States society and plunges into the chaotic heart of that country’s past. There emerges a portrait of an illusory and imperfect America, its self-representations, the people who betrayed its promise, past polarizations and compromises, and contemporary tensions. Even when it is etched in stone or bronze and thus memorialized, history is always annoying.
Arnaldo Testi formerly taught History of the United States at the University of Pisa.
Introduzione. Monumenti invisibili e spine in gola
1. La spada e il cavallo (di George Washington)
2. Templi neoclassici
3. Dimensioni eroiche
4. Spazio consacrato
5. Presidenti martiri
II. Signore di libertà e madri di diritti
1. Libertà (allegorica)
2. Un edificio tutto per sé
4. Rosa Parks che si è seduta
III. Nativi, conquistatori, pionieri, immigrati
1. L’indiano e l’immigrato: il monumento che non c’è