The History Book Club discussion


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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is a thread dedicated to identifying specific study topics and interest areas that group members might like to take some time and discuss. One could use a variety of sources for this discussion including books read, courses taken, Teaching Company Course materials, the internet, articles, conferences and any other referential and/or personal study materials.

This is a thread which can be used to identify these topic areas. We will set up specific threads for these discussions as they are brought forward.

message 2: by Pradeep (new)

Pradeep Jayatunga (pravan) | 52 comments How about Harry Turtledove's alternative histories?

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Pradeep, I think we are more of a non fiction type of group. and it would be OK to read and discuss an alternative history but most folks prefer the real thing or even historical fiction.

Harry Turtledove Harry Turtledove

message 4: by Karol (new)

Karol I am very interested in learning more about the era of Reconstruction in the south that followed the Civil War, from a southerner's perspective. This may be difficult since history is usually written from the victors' perspective. I'm up for discussion of this area with others, or if there is no interest, would anyone be able to recommend a non-fiction book or two?

message 5: by Becky (last edited Jul 16, 2012 04:24PM) (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments A look at Reconstruction through Southern eyes is probably best seen in the works of what is known as the Dunning School from Columbia University:


It was named after Columbia University professor William Archibald Dunning (1857–1922), whose works and teachings in the early 20th century on Reconstruction were influential. He supported the idea that the South had been ruined by Reconstruction. He contended that freedmen had proved incapable of self-government and thus had made segregation necessary. Dunning believed that allowing blacks to vote and hold office had been "a serious error".[1] As a professor, he taught generations of scholars, many of whom expanded his views of the evils of Reconstruction. The Dunning School and similar historians dominated the version of Reconstruction-era history in textbooks into the 1960s. Their generalized adoption of deprecatory terms such as scalawags for southern-white Republicans and carpetbaggers for northerners who worked and settled in the South, have persisted in historical works."
(more at the above noted site)

The book The South During Reconstruction by E.M. Coulter (1947) is representative of their thinking.

South During Reconstruction, 1865-1877 (A History of the South, Vol 8) by E. M. Coulter by E. M. Coulter

And James Wilford Garner's Reconstruction in Mississippi was regarded by W. E. B. Du Bois as being " the fairest work of the Dunning school, depicted Reconstruction as "unwise" and black politicians as liabilities to Southern administrations.[7]
(Source - )

Sorry -only no book cover or author photo links: Reconstruction in Mississippi by James Wilford Garner published in 1901.

message 6: by Karol (new)

Karol Becky wrote: "A look at Reconstruction through Southern eyes is probably best seen in the works of what is known as the Dunning School from Columbia University:


Thank you very much, Becky.

message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark Mortensen Anthony, your post has been moved to the Afghanistan thread.

message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Schein (mschein99) | 10 comments What about the Lincoln assassination conspiracy? The 150th anniversary is this April 14. It is generally overlooked as possibly a last-gasp effort to snatch Confederate victory from the jaws of defeat. If not that, at least to revenge the loss. It was a momentous event that shaped the reconstruction that followed. And it is a fascinating puzzle in its own write.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you for reminding us of the 150th anniversary. Another sad chapter for us in American history.

message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Schein (mschein99) | 10 comments Teri, that's a great topic. I recommend
The Mysterious Private Thompson The Double Life of Sarah Emma Edmonds, Civil War Soldier by Laura Leedy Gansler by Laura Leedy Gansler

message 11: by Brina (new)

Brina Is there a thread about baseball history?

message 12: by Jill (last edited Jun 05, 2016 10:09AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) There is a topic for Favorite Pastimes in Civil War which covers baseball at the link below.

For a general discussion of baseball. go to Sports History and Hobbies.

message 13: by Mary Ellen (last edited Mar 30, 2017 09:03AM) (new)

Mary Ellen Woods (maryellen_woods) | 12 comments On the topic of women, I would recommend the following:
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott by Karen Abbott Karen Abbott

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 30, 2017 08:57AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you Mary Ellen - you have all of the parts but usually to make it easier we just put the citation at the bottom of the comment box and type normally - we do manually place the word by in ourselves by typing the word by between a space after the book cover bracket and a space before the author's photo bracket. But an excellent try your first time.

For example:

On the topic of women, I would recommend the following:

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott by Karen Abbott Karen Abbott

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks, please add to this thread if you have group study topics worth having a thread for in the American Civil War folder.

message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Fateful Lightning

Fateful Lightning A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction by Allen C. Guelzo by Allen C. Guelzo Allen C. Guelzo


The Civil War is the greatest trauma ever experienced by the American nation, a four-year paroxysm of violence that left in its wake more than 600,000 dead, more than 2 million refugees, and the destruction (in modern dollars) of more than $700 billion in property. The war also sparked some of the most heroic moments in American history and enshrined a galaxy of American heroes. Above all, it permanently ended the practice of slavery and proved, in an age of resurgent monarchies, that a liberal democracy could survive the most frightful of challenges.

In Fateful Lightning, two-time Lincoln Prize-winning historian Allen C. Guelzo offers a marvelous portrait of the Civil War and its era, covering not only the major figures and epic battles, but also politics, religion, gender, race, diplomacy, and technology. And unlike other surveys of the Civil War era, it extends the reader's vista to include the postwar Reconstruction period and discusses the modern-day legacy of the Civil War in American literature and popular culture. Guelzo also puts the conflict in a global perspective, underscoring Americans' acute sense of the vulnerability of their republic in a world of monarchies. He examines the strategy, the tactics, and especially the logistics of the Civil War and brings the most recent historical thinking to bear on emancipation, the presidency and the war powers, the blockade and international law, and the role of intellectuals, North and South.

Written by a leading authority on our nation's most searing crisis, Fateful Lightning offers a vivid and original account of an event whose echoes continue with Americans to this day.


"Guelzo has a masterful command of the intricate narrative of the Civil War period. His tale contains familiar stories, but also new insights." --Journal of American History

"Guelzo's book is a shining example of the virtues of the macro approach when it is undertaken with energy and efficiency. By panning out and reviewing the events that occurred over several decades, Guelzo offers a useful synthesis of the developing Civil War narrative..." --The New York Times

"It's hard to imagine a better one-volume history of the American Civil War than Gettysburg College professor Allen C. Guelzo's new work." --The Washington Times

"Guelzo's prose is graceful and erudite - indeed, almost poetic. His is as comfortable with military topics as he is with the political, social, and economic aspects of the war and its aftermath." --The Weekly Standard

"Allen C. Guelzo's new book should occupy the same position in the current Civil War sesquicentennial as Bruce Catton's books did 50 years ago during the war's centennial. Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War & Reconstruction deserves this prominence for Guelzo's thorough knowledge of the subject, his ability to draw fresh conclusion, and his exceptional writing skills." --The Saturday Evening Post

"This is an outstanding effort to recount and explain our greatest national trauma to general readers." --Booklist

"With his accustomed eloquence and erudition, Allen C. Guelzo has produced a grand and sweeping account of the Civil War, vividly depicting its events, its characters, and, most of all, the ideas that drove them. Fateful Lightning is destined to take its place alongside the classic narratives of the nation's greatest crisis." --Steven E. Woodworth, author of This Great Struggle: America's Civil War

"[A] splendidly-written narrative" --Civil War Book Review

"Fateful Lightning is a splendid accomplishment." --David Frum, Daily Beast

"Fateful Lightning is a wonderful book. It is the summit of a long career of a consumate historian. ... [A] timely addition to a long tradition of scholarly histories of both the Civil War and Reconstruction. ... Guelzo seamlessly weaves the history of actual warfare with other cultural and historical events of the time. ... Because it is so well-written and produces such an engrossing story, it is one that students and scholars alike will relish." --International Social Science Review

About the Author

Allen C. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era, and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, both of which won the Lincoln Prize. His most recent books on Lincoln and the Civil War era are Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America and Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction.

message 17: by Shari (new)

Shari Anything Gettysburg!

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