Monday, July 1, 2013

Gettysburg at 150

Today we mark the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. One of the great battles of any war and one of the most significant in US history.

Yet, even a century and half since the Civil War, we are still learning new historical facts, new insights and developing new understandings of what really happened and why.

Two recent books, highlight this:

In A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War, historian Thomas Fleming reminds us that we need appreciate that we might have avoided the war altogether, had not the rhetoric and passions and hatreds of the times lead to what he calls “a collective and incurable disease in the public mind.”

Civil War historian and Gettysburg College history professor Allen Guelzo, in Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, takes a look, for the first time, at the raw politics of the war. How political and sometimes petty decisions, that were little noted at the time, will be long remembered for their impact on the war, the lives of men and their families and the course of history.

My conversation with Thomas Flemming:

My conversation with Allen Guelzo:

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