Donald Shriver argues that recognition of morally negative events in American history is essential to the health of our society. The failure to acknowledge and repent of these events skews the relations of many Americans to one another and breeds ongoing hostility. Yet our civic identity largely rests on denials, forgetfulness, and inattention to the memories of neighbors whose ancestors suffered great injustices at the hands of some dominant majority. Shriver contends that repentance for these injustices must find a place in our political culture. Focusing on the wrongs suffered by African Americans and Native Americans, Shriver examines the challenges associated with the call for collective repentance: What can it mean to morally master a past whose victims are dead and whose sufferings cannot be alleviated? What are the measures that lend substance to language and action expressing repentance? What symbolic and tangible acts produce credible turns away from past wrongs? In answering these and other important questions, Shriver creates a compelling vision of the collective repentance and apology that must precede real progress in relations between the races in this country.