Friday, December 3, 2010

"When the final word is in,

Webb's "embedded monument" will not be one of an idealized human being. Whatever else Webb may have been, he was very human and had the strengths and weaknesses, virtues and blemishes in inherent in human beings. His true story does not diminish his humanity or undo its potential for edification. Idealized narratives are not only unacceptable to honest people and for sound historical methodology but make up the substance of fable and ideology, providing little good in the real world. When such idealized narratives disembody their subjects - even legitimate heroes - from the reality they lived, they only serve to mislead, disempower, and immobilize because they present fictional figures that cannot be emulated or learned from.
 -A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell Webb by Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah, pg. 272-273

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