Whether you have or have not (I have not) visited the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, I recommend Caitlin Kelly‘s review of the museum at Pedagogy & American Literary Studies blog. Here is a taste:
Alas, while you can get t-shirts and trinkets emblazoned with quotes from Abigail Adams and Benjamin Rush, the Museum of the American Revolution largely avoids the fate of other such museums and historic sites and complements the story begun by the National Park Service down the block at Independence Hall. Its vivid, lush, multimedia exhibits color in the lines that the historical sites surrounding the museum provide. MAR weaves a complex and sophisticated narrative that includes not only the Founding Fathers but also women, foreigners, Native Americans, and people of color. The museum also does well to present these groups within their contexts both historical and geographical, paying particular attention to the divided loyalties among native groups and people of color, as well parsing the difference between experiences of colonists in New England, the Middle Atlantic, and South. To critics, this dedication to a more inclusive narrative is at the expense of American exceptionalism. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Edward Rothstein captures this feeling, complaining that the “exhibition tells us more about how the Revolution fell short than about how it transformed possibilities.” If there is any truth to that assessment, may we all be glad that the museum did “fall short.”
Read the rest here.