Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Reading Series: America’s Civil War

What do you know about America’s Civil War (1861-1865)? We all probably remember the basics from studying about the war in school—that the “war between the states” was one of the deadliest wars in American history and that it resulted in the abolishment of slavery and prevented the succession of several southern states.

But for those interested in knowing more about the Civil War, the Coeur d’Alene Public Library is beginning a reading/discussion series, “Making Sense of the American Civil War”, which will examine the impact of the war on American culture and history.

The series, presented in partnership with the Idaho Humanities Council, includes a five-meeting, scholar-led reading/discussion program beginning tomorrow, November 8, and continuing through December 20. The five two-hour book discussions are scheduled for five Thursday evenings, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Nov. 8, 15, 29, Dec. 13, and 20 in the library Community Room. The program is based on three books:

“March,” by Geraldine Brooks, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novel which tells its story through the voices of characters from another novel, “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott.

“America’s War,” edited by historian Edward L. Ayers, is mostly a collection of writings by people who had to decide for themselves before and during the war where justice, honor, duty, and loyalty lay, including selections writ-ten by Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and many others.

“Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam,” by historian James McPherson, explores the battle in the fall of 1862 that changed the course of the Civil War.

 The program is free but only 20 copies of each of the three books to be used in the series are available. Participants who are reading the books are asked to commit to attending all sessions in the series.

Scholars who will lecture and facilitate discussions include University of Idaho History Professor and Dean of Letters Arts and Social Sciences Dr. Katherine Aiken, North Idaho College History Professor James Jewell, and Boise State University Andrus Center for Public Policy Director Dr. David Adler.

The discussions will be open to the public.

To sign up for the series or for more information contact David Townsend, Library Communications Coordinator, at 208-769- 2315 Ext. 426 or by e-mail at


1 comment:

Elizabeth S. Brinton said...

Thanks for this post. I am planning to participate in this series and am reading the books. There are so many stories yet to be told about this horrific war. For instance, I am learning about the 'cotton famine' and how that brought hardship to the mills in England. Plus, I am on pins and needles to watch Daniel Day Lewis play Lincoln.