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History Matters: '12 Years a Slave' puts uncomfortable American history in focus

Dr. Gary Joiner
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LSU Shreveport

With the 86th Academy Awards ceremony less than a week away, commentator Gary Joiner is pleased with the Oscar buzz surrounding "12 Years a Slave" that closely examines an undeniable chapter in American history.

Gary Joiner is a cartographer and an associate professor of history at LSU in Shreveport. He is the author or editor of 12 books including “Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862,” “One Damn Blunder From Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign in 1864,” “Through the Howling Wilderness: The Red River Campaign and Union Failure in 1864,” “Red River Steamboats,” and “Mr. Lincoln's Brown Water Navy: Mississippi Squadron.”