Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Whitewomen Black Men


WhiteWomen Black Men Biography
Almost 40 years ago, in his own study of Leonardo da Vinci, Sigmund Freud warned that biographers, for personal reasons, often choose heroes for their subjects. Out of their own "special affection," Freud wrote, "they then devote themselves to a work of idealization." Intolerant of anything in their subject's inner or outer life that smacks of human weakness or imperfection, biographers "then give us a cold, strange, ideal form instead of a man to whom we could feel distinctly related." Freud might have added that because the majority of biographers have been white men, so are the subjects of most biographies, South and North.
Two of the best examples of this kind of deification in southern biography are Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, both of whom have been the subjects of numerous biographies. The "Sage of Monticello" was truly an eloquent, erudite scholar and a brilliant statesman, but his chief biographers—James Parton, Douglas Southall Freeman, Merrill Peterson, and Dumas Malone—have glorified his accomplishments, minimized or denied his flaws, and canonized his name so that a demigod, not a man, emerges from the pages of their biographies. Not until 1974 and the appearance of Fawn Brodie's eye-opening psychobiography, Thomas Jefferson An Intimate History (1974), did someone finally put flesh and bone on Jefferson. Brodie's Jefferson was ambivalent about love and power, slavery and revolution. Brodie's Jefferson was extremely virile and passionate and at the same time compulsively controlled. Most controversial of all, Brodie insisted that rumors of Jefferson's longtime love affair with Sally Hemmings, one of his slaves, were indeed true. The vehemence with which Jefferson's white male biographers, particularly Peterson and Malone, have leaped to their subject's defense in this sensitive matter is evidence of a continued refusal to admit that Jefferson had even a particle of human frailty.
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Whitewomen Black Men
Why White Women Choose Black Men - #1 of 5

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