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What Americans Think about the Civil War – and What They Should Think

A lecture by Erich and Lea Sternberg Honors Professor Gaines Foster
When Apr 19, 2016
from 07:00 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Grand Salon, French House
Contact Name
Contact Phone (225) 578-8849
Attendees Ogden Honors College Community
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The recent Sesquicentennial of the Civil War passed with little fanfare, perhaps because Americans remain deeply confused and conflicted about the war’s meaning. That conflicted memory has deep roots; in the decades immediately after the war African Americans, white northerners, and white southerners each celebrated a distinct interpretation of the war. Only by ignoring their differences and the issues of the war did white northerners and southerners construct a shared romantic view of the war, one challenged in the wake of the civil rights movement, but one that still dominates American culture and distorts Americans’ understanding of one of the central events of their history. “What Americans Think about the Civil War” traces these developments before offering several ambiguities that should form the basis of Americans’ understanding of the Civil War. 2016 Erich and Lea Sternberg Honors Professor Gaines Foster is an expert on the Civil War and its memory.  A reception will follow the lecture.