This class will provide a fresh attempt at addressing a large and never old topic, one not offered at Björklunden for more than a decade. The class will be geared toward newcomers to the topic as well as to long-time readers on it, and will take a little more of a general-discussion approach than Cornelius has offered in his four recent lecture-oriented classes on Abraham Lincoln. One goal is to take up more views of the Civil War from an international perspective than is usually tried, both in its own day and in how it is viewed in our own time. In that spirit, this class will meet one morning with Terry Moran’s class to compare current civil wars around the globe with our own.
Possible readings (not required): Beringer, R.H. Why the South Lost the Civil War. (Univ. of Georgia Press, 1986), 582 pp., ISBN: 978-0820308159
David Herbert Donald and Richard Current. Why the North Won the Civil War. (Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1960), 128 pp., ISBN: 978-0684825069
Don Harrison Doyle, The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (Basic Books, 2015), 382 pp., ISBN: 978-0465029679
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. (Simon & Schuster, 2005), 916 pp. ISBN: 9780743270755
Allen C. Guelzo, The Crisis of the American Republic: A History of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era (St. Martin’s, 1994), 576 pp, ISBN: 978-0199843282
Republished in 2015 by Oxford as Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. ISBN: 978-0199843282
James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford U.P., 1988), 904 pp., ISBN: 9780195038637
James M. Cornelius ’81, a native of Minneapolis, was educated at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisc. and at the University of Illinois – Urbana. He has been an editor and writer in New York City, a visiting assistant professor at the U of I Library, and for 11 years he was Curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, in Springfield, Illinois. Most recently he edited and co-authored the Official Commemorative Guide to the Presidential Museum (2011; reprinted 2013); oversaw publication and introduced Gettysburg Replies (2015), a showcase of original short essays about Lincoln or current affairs by 100 famous people; and co-authored Under His Hat: 100 Great Lincoln Items (2016).