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Richmond's Unhealed History

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In a detailed look at the history of Richmond, Benjamin Campbell examines the contradictions and crises that have formed the city over more than four centuries. Campbell argues that the community of metropolitan Richmond is engaged in a decisive spiritual battle in the coming decade. He believes the city, more than any in the nation, has the potential for an unprecedented ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Brandylane Publishers, Inc.
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Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good, non-academic read about the history of Richmond, with a lot of good Virginia history also. It covers the racial issues that have been a large part of the Commonwealth's history.
Perry Ervin
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I happened upon this book in the Virginia Historical Society gift shop. It just so happened that Charlottesville had occurred two weeks prior and, as well, I had just finished Whit Sutton's historical fiction "The Unmaking of a Man." The timing here was perfect for getting my attention, so it seems.

As much as I enjoyed living at Monument and Boulevard in the mid-80s, I always had a feeling that something about Richmond was uneasy in spirit; it was a "something" one could see as well as sense. Ca
Jordan Parker
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
My friend's wife got this for me, I bought them a Blood Orange record and they returned the favor with this book. They live in Richmond so this book was a very fitting gift. At first I thought this would be a little basic but it's complete historical account of Richmond and its' surrounding area, from the 1600s until present day. It's extremely detailed and well written and I learned a lot about Richmond and the role it played in shaping modern America.
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book could also be titled, "Richmond's Unknown History," for it is a history of culture, not of famous people, wars, and dates. Meticulously documented with 364 end notes, Rev. Campbell traces the cultural relationships in the Richmond area from the Renaissance to the present. He describes how "The Doctrine of Discovery" set the tone for vanquishing of the Powhatan nation, and gives detail as to its estimated population, trade routes, and civilization. Onward to the seventeenth century, whe ...more
Emily Onufer
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
This book provides an extensive overview of the history of Richmond as the river city in a fun and interesting way. Topics covered include: Jamestown, the Powhatan War, the mystery of Pocahontas, Bacon’s Rebellion, an in-depth analysis of slavery and all associated aspects, the development of Richmond as the capital city of slavery, segregation and resistance, and the black majority issues faced by modern day Richmond. Shortly after reading this book, I took a tour of Richmond with the author, B ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Combined with reading "The SpyMistress" And "Brotherhood"I now have a grasp of the history that has made this city what it is today. One of strength, creativity, cruelty, intelligence, secretive lies, beauty, determination and steadfast charm. All great cities carry these traits to one extent to another but Richmond is one of the USA s greats. we, who come from other regions are not aware of her because she imploded herself but time is healing and now she can begin to evolve. Excellen ...more
Linda Owen
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone in the Richmond metropolitan area needs to read this book. In so many ways, the history Ben Campbell details here is the opposite of what I was taught in the Richmond Public Schools so many years ago. We learn to respect the viewpoints of those who were not in charge, from the natives the first colonists met to the African-Americans who were, and are, "put in their place", to the religious minorities and many more. Whew! He also argues forcefully and convincingly that the suburban count ...more
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I'm not unaware of the history of United States, the good and the bad; and yet, it is can still be shocking to read quotes of laws from centuries past. It is particularly disheartening to read about the developed bifurcation between "Christian" and "slave" being defined in terms of racial descent––"Christian" being from European descent and increasing demarcation for "slave" as African descent.....regardless of baptism.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ben Campbell's life is all about the work of justice. This shows in his book. If you have Richmond connections, this'll wow you. If not, you will probably still be interested to learn how people other than white dudes have been systematically stepped on and pushed aside. News flash: Richmond is just one example. That's why this book is useful outside Virginia, because the same truths have been played out elsewhere. Thank you, Ben, for all the work you put into telling this important story.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very incisive overview of the shape of Richmond's history as a microcosm of the history of the nation. Extremely instructive for a recently arrived resident to the city, and I would recommend the first 3/4 of the book to anyone. But its focus narrows incredibly as it approaches the modern era. Would have liked to have seen less repetitive data on one subject (schools) and more of a broad scope for the whole scope of the region's recent history.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is not the Virginia history I was taught in elementary school. Well documented, interesting reading.

After reading this book, I have a much better understanding of the struggles that face the City of Richmond. As much as people deny it, Richmond's history has evolved over the issues of class and race.

I highly recommend this book to anyone living in the Metropolitan Richmond area, especially Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
History books like this are work for me to get through. I am so thankful I put forth the effort to finish this one. If you care about Richmond, VA and how its past impacts its present-if you care at all about race relations in this city, in this country-please read this book. Or go hear Ben Campbell speak. He is the city's greatest treasure.
Ken Hohman
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant examination of Richmond's suppression of African-American communities over the decades and the lingering effects of racist policies that can be seen in the urban landscape of today.
Jessica Clarke
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This eye-opening account of Richmond's racial history was easy to read (not too academic) and difficult to read (heartbreaking). Highly recommended.
Jon Greenhill
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
a great read for a behind the scenes look at what really shaped Virginia's history. greed, slavery, and segregation are the driving force of a history that limits Richmond to this day. a must read.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Important read for any well intentioned Richmonder.
Andrew Owens
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: virginia
Really enjoyed this book - Campbell's tone is critical but caring, and very human. Well written history.

I'd welcome any recommendations for more, good Virginia or Richmond histories.
Rock Higgins
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A moving and poignant look at the corporate history (and sins) that founded, and remain in Virginia's Capitol City.
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Nov 30, 2011
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