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American Civil War (1861-1865)

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23 Segments




'The Fall Of The House Of Dixie' Built A New U.S.

In a new book, Civil War historian Bruce Levine says that from the destruction of the South emerged an entirely new country, making the Civil War equivalent to a second American Revolution. Integral to the Union's victory, he says, were the nearly 200,000 black soldiers who enlisted.


Looking At The Civil War 150 Years Later.

Tuesday marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War. Historian Adam Goodheart explains how national leaders and ordinary citizens across the country responded to the chaos and uncertainty in 1861: The Civil War Awakening.


America: 'Forever Free,' but Not Yet Whole

In the period after the Civil War, former slaves were made promises of equality and citizenship by the federal government. Historian Eric Foner analyzes the fate of those promises in Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction.


E.L. Doctorow's Civil War: 'The March'

In The March, novelist E.L. Doctorow applies his distinctive approach to historical fiction to events of the Civil War -- especially Gen. William T. Sherman's decisive, destructive assault on Georgia and the Carolinas.


Revisiting a Conversation with Historian Shelby Foote

Civil War historian and novelist Shelby Foote died Monday night at age 88. He is best known for his three-volume, 3,000-page history entitled The Civil War: A Narrative, and for narrating Ken Burns' 11-hour PBS series The Civil War. We rebroadcast an interview with Foote from July 27, 1994.


John M. Coski and the Confederate Flag

John M. Coski is author of The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem. The book looks at the flag's history and the various meanings attached to it. Some people view it as a symbol of white supremacy and racial injustice; others think it represents a rich Southern heritage. Coski is historian and library director at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.


Civil Surgery: 'Bleeding Blue and Gray'

Surgeon and medical historian Ira Rutkow's new book is Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine. Rutkow is also the author of Surgery: An Illustrated History, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.


Historian James McPherson

He wrote the introduction and commentary for the new book The Most Fearful Ordeal: Original Coverage of The Civil War by Writers and Reporters of The New York Times. McPherson is a professor of history at Princeton University. He is the author of many books on the Civil War era including Battle Cry of Freedom.


Writer and Historian Jay Winik

Jay Winik's new book, a bestseller, is April 1865: The Month That Saved America (HarperCollins). He writes that April 1865 is a month that could have unraveled the American nation. Instead it saved it. During that month the war ended with Lee surrender, Lincoln was assassinated, and the rebuilding of the nation began. Winik is a senior scholar at the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal.


The Obsession with the Civil War.

Wall Street Journal reporter Tony Horwitz has written "Confederates In The Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War". It is published by Pantheon. Horwitz explores the subculture of Civil War re-enactment fanatics. Many of these wannabe rebels will run barefoot, sleep in the rain, and starve themselves to recreate the conditions of battle to get a "period rush". Horwitz won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting at the Wall Street Journal and is the author of "Baghdad Without a Map" and "One for the Road".


How Civil War Soldiers Faced (or Fled) the Violence of Combat

Historian James McPherson is a Professor of American History at Princeton University. He's written eleven books about the Civil War, including his Pulitzer Prize winning book, "Battle Cry of Freedom." His latest book is "For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War" (Oxford University Press). Drawing on 25,000 letters and 250 private diaries, McPherson looks at why so many soldiers willingly risked their lives to fight in the war.


Continuing Lessons from the Civil War

Writer Shelby Foote has created a niche for himself as a civil war historian. He is best known for his three volume history of the Civil War, called "The Civil War: A Narrative." He has just written a new book, "Stars in Their Courses," which re-creates the three-day Gettysburg Campaign. He was also the narrator of the eleven-hour PBS series "The Civil War," which aired in 1990.


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