Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Trap That Was Laid at Charlottesville

By Paul Gottfried, Chronicles

Although we didn’t know it at the time, the incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12, 2017 would soon develop into a narrative for the left to repeat and then recycle in the summer riots of 2020 and eventually the events at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021. Anne Wilson Smith unpacks this narrative in her recent book, Charlottesville Untold, providing needed historical details for those exploring the broader implications of what transpired that fateful day.

Smith writes as someone from within the right. As a result, she does not deal with leftist demonstrators as empathetically as she does the protest participants from Unite the Right, along with their organizer Jason Kessler. But this book is of high value because it underscores the growing sense of being overwhelmed by events that Unite the Right leaders experienced. Smith puts their experience of helplessness into relief since her book includes interviews with her subjects and statements they made while the protest was unfolding.

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