The authors in this provocative volume work to disrupt the memorial space of the National Mall by invoking the various voices who have used this space as a site of dissent and contestation and by attending to the memorial spaces often downplayed for bypassed. In so doing, these authors remind us that invoking the past is never simple and that understanding the power of public memory requires careful attention to its rhetoric.
The impressive monuments in the heart of Washington, DC are familiar to most Americans. Rhetorics Haunting the National Mall is a highly original collection that actually reveals many events connected to this notable place that were displaced from public view. As such it reveals fractures in our national memory not apparent in the overall grandeur of the site.