Notes On Attention Paid

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04 Regarding the Pain of Others, Chapter 5, Susan Sontag

… Sontag sums up the chapter by reminding us the presentation of history is selective… we have reached a moment in which a large number of our citizens are ready to look at the horrors of slavery and its aftermath, but what about the many other atrocities committed in our name by our government?…

A museum devoted to the history of America’s wars that included the vicious war the United States fought against guerrillas in the Philippines from 1899 to 1902 (expertly excoriated by Mark Twain), and that fairly presented the arguments for and against using the atomic bomb in 1945 on the Japanese cities, with photographic evidence that showed what those weapons did, would be regarded—now more than ever—as a most unpatriotic endeavor.1


  1. Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others (p. 94). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition. [return]