Taking a Walk on the Civil War’s “Dark Side”

This year, I am embarking on a rather foolhardy ambitious scholarly agenda, and my central project is a textbook for the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. I know, I know…there’s a crying need for another Civil War textbook; there’s nothing at all being written on the subject, and it is incumbent on me to fill this egregious lacuna in the scholarship. Don’t worry; I’ll find sources somewhere. But in reality, I am addressing a lacuna in the scholarship of perhaps the most-published-about area of not just US History, but History in general (neck and neck with World War II). My project is a “continental history” of the era–and by era, I mean something different that the standard “two introductory chapters, ten chapters on the Civil War (with the one obligatory homefront chapter), one emancipation chapter, a Reconstruction chapter, and then DONE” model. I mean ERA–as in, “perhaps four years, no matter how important and action-packed, do not an entire era make.” So shameless plug: if you’re teaching this era and are frustrated by textbook options that are overwhelmingly battles-and-politics-centric, then look for my book in a couple years! I was similarly frustrated–that’s why I’m writing the book in the first place.

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