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Annette Gordon-Reed's New Ode To The Emancipation Celebration

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Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. She won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History, the 2008 National Book Award and 14 other prizes for her book, "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family" (W.W. Norton, 2008). (photo by Tony Rinaldo)

On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, TX, declaring that all slaves were free, two months after General Robert E Lee had surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S Grant in Appomattox, VA.

Tom's guest on this archive edition of Midday is the author and historian Annette Gordon Reed. She has written a beautiful peroration about the meaning of the holiday that marks the anniversary of that event. It is at once an homage to her home state of Texas, and a wholly original and fascinating exploration of how history and legend and myth all shape what we learn when we’re young, how our understanding evolves as we grow older, and how social dynamics inform the evolution of societal understanding as well. Professor Reed writes with erudition and grace, authority and humility, weaving a touching personal memoir into the stark reality of a harsh historical record.

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Liveright/W.W. Norton & Company

The book is called On Juneteenth. Annette Gordon Reed and Tom spoke about it on June 11th. Because the interview was pre-recorded, we couldn't take any calls or comments.

Annette Gordon Reed joined Tom from her home in New York…